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Why the NL Central lead for the Milwaukee Brewers is deceiving

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham tagged by Brewers Omar Narvaez.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham tagged by Brewers Omar Narvaez. / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds have already played the Milwaukee Brewers six times this season and there's plenty more games against the Brew Crew remaining on the schedule.

The Brewers currently lead the National League Central Division and have a three-game advantage over their closest competitor, the St. Louis Cardinals.

There's no denying that the Brewers are off to a terrific start, but Milwaukee's win-loss is boosted by an interesting statistic. Are the Brewers for real or have they been the beneficiary of a soft schedule?

The Reds and Brewers have this stat in common.

The Milwaukee Brewers have six wins over teams with a record above .500. Guess what? So do the Cincinnati Reds. That's right, both the Brewers and the Reds share the same number of wins versus winning teams.

Milwaukee is 6-6 versus clubs with a winning record while the Reds are 6-19. The Redlegs have played 13 more games against winning teams in the first two months of the season than the Brewers.

While the Cincinnati Reds were out on the West Coast in April taking on the likes of the San Diego Padres (30-19) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (33-16), the Milwaukee Brewers were feasting on the Baltimore Orioles (21-30), Pittsburgh Pirates, (21-27) and Chicago Cubs (20-29).

Now, you can only play the teams on your schedule, so you can't blame the Brewers for their soft schedule. In fact, the Reds schedule gets much easier in June. Cincinnati will open a seven-game homestand against the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks before closing the month with three games on the road against the Cubs.

The Brewers' schedule gets tougher in June with a visit to Queens to take on the New York Mets and a two-game set versus the Tampa Bay Rays. Milwaukee also has a four-game series both the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals. The Toronto Blue Jays also visit American Family Field this month.

The Milwaukee Brewers are a fine team and maintain a 13.5 game lead over the Cincinnati Reds, but their run differential (+39) is actually lower than the second-place Cardinals (+44). St. Louis has actually played more games against winning teams than any other club in the NL Central. The Cardinals are 13-13 versus teams with a record above .500.

dark. Next. 2 winners and 2 losers for the Reds from May

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