I thought I'd take a look at Google Trends data about teams in the NL Central and draw some unfair conclusions with it. All these charts have the same scale
Going in order of record, first up we have the St. Louis Cardinals:
Put simply, nobody cares about the Cardinals. Their fans don't get hyped, and nobody likes them, and people only talk about them when they make the playoffs, because they have to, and it happens too often.
Here's the mark of a franchise on the rise. McCutchen was an all-star in 2011 and the team began to reverse their losing trend. At the end of 2013 they made the playoffs and the hype was real, and they've been optimistic and enthusiastic from opening day since.
The Cubs are a big market team that has a significant following no matter how bad they get. This season has seen a lot of enthusiasm however, starting early with the hiring of Joe Maddon and continuing with the pennant race.
I'm going to need help explaining this one. It looks like no matter what the Reds are doing the fans are happy about it. Like kids at a carnival, unless the corn dogs have salmonella and the tilt-a-whirl turns into a trebuchet, they're just happy to have entertainment.
And then there's the Brewers. You can see the bright part of recent franchise history at the end of 2011, with a playoff team that had Braun, Grienke, and a seismic Fielder. It's interesting to see how Brewer fans are optimistic at the beginning of every season, and it slowly fades with our playoff chances each year. Even so, our hype is consistently higher than the Cardinals, who only seem to pay attention to their team when the postseason begins.
And there we have it.