Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Things are getting very interesting in the NL Wild Card race. While the Reds lost to the Brewers last night, the Nationals beat the Phillies 6-1 for their seventh straight victory.

Ross Ohlendorf, who started in place of the scratched Stephen Strasburg, tossed five innings of one-run ball in the victory. Ryan Zimmerman homered for the ninth time in his last 11 games while Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 24 games. Only Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer has had a longer hitting streak (29 games) in MLB this season.

With the win, the surging Nationals find themselves 4.5 games back of the Reds for the second Wild Card spot with 15 games left to play. They are four back in the loss column.

Your Friday box scores:

Indians 3, White Sox 1

Cubs 5, Pirates 4

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 3

Marlins 3, Mets 4

Royals 3, Tigers 6

Yankees 4, Red Sox 8

Padres 4, Braves 3

Athletics 9, Rangers 8

Reds 1, Brewers 5

Rays 3, Twins 0

Mariners 1, Cardinals 2 (10 innings)

Angels 7, Astros 9

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 5

Giants 4, Dodgers 2

2017 Preview: The National League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League Central

It’s the Cubs’ world and we’re all just living in it. But repeats are rare in baseball nowadays, so maybe it’s better to be on “field” than on the Cubs?

That said, who in the division has a real shot at unseating them? No one I can see, even if the Cardinals and Pirates should be competitive.

The Brewers played .500 ball this spring. Which means absolutely nothing, but I thought I’d mention it. As for the Reds, well . . . Cincinnati has some underrated restaurants and you can go across the river to Kentucky and find a super great bourbon selection at a number of stores. Make a day of it.

Our previews of the NL Central teams:

Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins