Where the Chicago Cubs rotation ranks among NL Central teams

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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4. St. Louis Cardinals

Historically the St. Louis Cardinals can usually count on their starting pitching to lift them up in hard times. That has not been the case about halfway through 2023 as their rotation currently ranks near the bottom of the league (23rd as of June 28th) in combined ERA. Jordan Montgomery, who the team acquired in a surprise trade with the Yankees last deadline, has been the only trustworthy arm and he hasn't exactly been spectacular. He has a respectable 3.52 ERA with a WHIP of 1.27 in 92 innings. Those figures are serviceable but ideally, you'd want your number 1 starter to be posting better numbers than that.

Miles Mikolas is leading the team in innings pitched but the 34-year-old is having a down year with a 4.23 ERA in 16 starts. Former ace Adam Wainwright appears to have little left in the tank after what will probably go down as his swan song in 2022. The 41-year-old has been truly abysmal with a 6.56 ERA and just 46 innings pitched. Jack Flaherty's first full season since 2019 has been rough and Steven Matz was so bad as a starter he's been moved to the bullpen. The bottom line is this team's pitching staff has been a disaster and they are struggling to pick up the pieces after long-time catcher Yadier Molina's retirement.

Much of the rotation struggles can probably be put on former Cub catcher Willson Contreras, and frankly, his signing with the Cardinals has been nothing short of hilarious from a Cubs perspective. After badmouthing the Cubs all offseason and signing a five-year deal with the Cardinals, the former all-star now finds himself in the middle of his worst offensive season, incapable of inheriting a new pitching staff and periodically at odds with his new manager Oliver Marmol. I would love to sit here and tell you it's a shame to see this franchise take such a nose dive when they were expected to easily win the NL Central, but that would be a lie.