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NL Central: Cubs rotation, Pirates all stars

The latest news from around the National League Central.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

If the Cubs plan on turning around the fortunes of last year, it is going to happen on the backs of their starting pitching. Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks have combined to lead the majors with a combined 2.38 ERA over the first 52 games of the season.

This rotation has the stuff of finishers, but looking to potential postseason matchups and this rotation might have to bring this same Grade-A quality stuff come October.

More from around the National League Central:

  • The All-Star game vote tallies have been making their way around the baseball world, and the Pirates certainly have some names that could make their way to San Diego, including Gregory Polanco.
  • Alex Crisafulli at Viva El Birdos looked at what recent history can tell us about the Cardinals' run differential.
  • Jonathan Villar has been a revelation for the Brewers this season, potentially making him Carlos Gomez 2.0. Just in May, the 25-year-old hit .355, 16 RBI's, 14 steals and a .450 on-base percentage.
  • With the Reds rebuilding, it's always a good time to see what the kids have. That could mean having both Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed up and contributing on a full-time basis. Stephenson was up for two starts this year, but has spent most of his time at Triple-A Louisville with Reed.

Standings 'as of writing':

Chicago 37-15 -- GB

Pittsburgh 29-24 8.5 GB

St. Louis 28-26 10.0 GB

Milwaukee 25-29 13.0 GB

Cincinnati 19-35 19.0 GB