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Dumpster Fire Division Update: June 22

It could always be worse Reds fans. You could be rooting for the Twins

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It's been two weeks since we last checked in on the Dumpster Fire Division. Where do things stand as of June 22?







San Diego




























Over the course of those two weeks a lot has happened. Cincinnati briefly took the lead only to have San Diego take it back. The Atlanta Braves are improbably riding a six game winning streak. That streak has pushed Minnesota to the bottom of the Dumpster Fire Division. It's a dark place to find yourself.

How did each team look over the past two weeks?

San Diego Padres

Since our last update the Padres have gone 5-7. Currently they have a three game winning streak, and they'll look to keep that going in Baltimore tonight. San Diego's offense ranks in the top ten over the past two weeks by wRC+ (109), and the bullpen is in the top ten of ERA (2.87). This has offset a starting rotation that has the 4th worst ERA in MLB over that period (6.56).

Best Hitter: Wil Myers was San Diego's best hitter last time we checked in, and he just continues to rake. Over the past two weeks he's hit .289/.389/.778 with 6 HR and 14 RBI. All of his production has resulted in a 204 wRC+, 1 fWAR and new trade rumors over this stretch.

Best Pitcher: I mentioned how good San Diego's bullpen had been recently. One of the relievers leading that charge has been Fernando Rodney. Over the past two weeks he has four saves and a 1.69 ERA (0.87 FIP). In fact, the four pitchers who have accumulated the most fWAR over this period are all bullpen arms (Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer, and Carlos Villanueva).

This Week: The Padres wrap up a short series with the Orioles tonight. They'll head to Cincinnati for a four game set with massive Dumpster Fire Division implications. Early next week they get Baltimore at home.

Cincinnati Reds

Do you remember when we were all excited because the Reds had one of the best offenses in baseball over a two week stretch? That production has come crashing back to earth. Over the last fourteen days Cincinnati's offense ranks 28th in the league by wRC+ (70). The starting pitching checks in at 20th in the league with a 4.67 ERA, although a 5.08 FIP suggests that it's been a little worse than that number suggests.

How's the bullpen fared over the past few weeks? Are you sitting down? Is there a way that you can buckle yourself in? Over the past two weeks the Reds bullpen ranks 14th best in MLB by ERA (3.63). That's top half of the league!


Ignore the 4.97 FIP and -0.3 fWAR over that time.

Best Hitter: It looks like Joey Votto is back to being Joey Votto (with less power?). In the past two weeks he's hit .349/.491/.395. The SLG% does a look a little low, and part of that is due to the fact that Votto hasn't homered since June 7. Jay Bruce also deserves some recognition here. Lately he's hitting .292/.346/.604 with 3 HR and 15 RBI.

Best Pitcher: Most Reds fans have been paying attention to pitchers getting called up (Reed) or returning (Iglesias and Lorenzen). However, Brandon Finnegan has quietly had the most productive two week stretch of anyone on the team. In three starts he's 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA (3.90 FIP). His walk rate is still higher than fans would like (3.50 BB/9), but he's been able to mitigate that impact thanks to a .215 BAA.

This Week: The Reds finish a two game set with Texas tonight, and then host the Padres for four. I don't know if you've heard this, but that series has massive Dumpster Fire Division implications. Starting on Monday the Reds host the Cubs for three games.

Atlanta Braves

Since the start of this division I've given Atlanta a lot of flack. However, it's time to give some credit where credit is due. From June 8 on the Braves are 8-4, and they're currently riding a six game winning streak. This leads me to ask, how? HOW? HOW?!?!?

What was the worst offense in baseball has actually been middle of the road for a few weeks (102 wRC+). The starting pitching is also hanging around the middle of the pack with a 3.56 ERA (3.86 FIP). The bullpen can also be found in the 15-20 range (4.38 ERA/3.38 FIP). Lately, the Braves have been the meat of a wRC+ and ERA sandwich. That will help you make some noise in this division.

It won't last.

Best Hitter: Reds fans got to enjoy Freddie Freeman hitting for the cycle in a 5+ hour, 13 inning game last Wednesday. He has been Atlanta's best hitter recently: .404/.464/.766 with 3 HR, 10 RBI, and a 217 wRC+. Although, the Braves have seven hitters over 100 wRC+ in that stretch (at least 10 PA).

Best Pitcher: Over his past 17.1 innings pitched Bud Norris has been one of Atlanta's best starters. In the three games he's seen action he's running a 3.12 ERA, but his 1.62 FIP suggests a pitcher who has been much better. He's run up 0.8 fWAR in two weeks. Julio Teheran also deserves some praise here. He's 2-1 in the past two weeks with a 1.88 ERA. In his last 24 innings he's got 8.63 K/9 and a tidy 0.75 BB/9.

This Week: The Braves have one game left in Miami before heading home for a four game series with the Mets (who they swept last week). The early part of next week Atlanta will host Cleveland.

Minnesota Twins

I wasn't sure any team would fall below Atlanta this season, but the Twins pulled it off. Since our last update they're 4-9, and last week they endured a five game losing streak. What's been the source of the struggles? The offense has been right around average with a 99 wRC+. The pitching is another story. Their starting rotation has a 6.88 ERA over the past two weeks, and their bullpen has been next to last in baseball with a 6.15 ERA. An average offense isn't going to cut it with those pitching numbers.

Best Hitter: Eduardo Escobar has been hitting out of his mind recently. His two week stretch looks like this: .435/.458/.826 with 2 HR and 7 RBI. The same could be said of Kurt Suzuki who is hitting .405/.405/.784 with 3 HR and 14 RBI. Brian Dozier has also bounced back recently following a disappointing start to the season.

Best Pitcher: Hmm...this is a difficult choice. Ricky Nolasco has accumulated the most fWAR over this period going 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA (2.75 FIP). He's also been able to keep his BB/9 under 1. The most impressive stats probably belong to someone named Buddy Boshers. Out of the bullpen he's pitched 6.1 innings with a 1.42 ERA. He could win this award assuming he's not a made up person, but I'm not convinced yet.

This Week: The Twins have two games left verses the Phillies before heading to New York to face the Yankees over the weekend. Minnesota will travel to Chicago to face the White Sox next week.