Updated: Jul 28
This is a 6 part series where I will be predicting the outcome of the divisions starting with the NL Central. The NL Central consists of the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals. Let me know in the comments anything that you would change.
#5 - Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates are undoubtedly the worst team in the NL Central, with no chance at winning the division. They are in a tough division, and this is not their year. They lost their first 2 games this year to the Cardinals. They won their last game, but only won by 4 compared to the day before losing by 8. I also see them losing 2-1 in the next series against Milwaukee, the same for when they play the cubs after, and I see them at most splitting the 4 game series in Minnesota. They do not have much depth on their roster anywhere, and their rotation is decent at best.
#4 - Cincinnati
The Reds had some great additions to go with a roster that was already decent. On the other hand, the NL Central is arguably the toughest division to win in, and they are 1-2 after facing the Detroit Tigers. They have a good rotation with notable players like Trevor Bauer, who is a past all-star. They have a decent bullpen, and star infielders and outfielders like Joey Votto and Nick Castellanos. I don't see them winning against the Cubs, even though they are playing their next 4 games in Cincinnati. If they were in any other division, I could see them in the playoffs.
#3 - Milwaukee Brewers
Much like the Reds, I think that the Brewers have a solid team, but will struggle in a difficult division to win in. For pitching, the main thing that will help them is Josh Hader, their closer, who is the only pitcher in my mind that can do a lot of damage. They have a strong offense featuring players like Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich, who are good fielders along with the rest of their team, but the pitchers are the weak spot. The big thing for me is that they went 1-2 after their first 3 games in Chicago, scoring a total of 9 runs (0 in the first game, 8 in game 2, and 1 in game 3) compared to the Cubs' 15 runs with 3 in each of the first 2 games, and then 9 in the third game. What is important to note is that the Cubs shut them out in game 1, with the Brewers getting 3 hits, all by Orlando Arcia, and then losing 9-1 in game 3. The big thing to remember even after everything above is that the top 3 teams in the NL Central are all contenders, but I feel that the Brewers will end in third, possibly in the playoffs.
#2 - Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are my favorite team, and always will be. That being said, in my opinion, the Cubs cannot win enough games against the Cardinals to win, and they will lose to the Brewers and Reds a good amount of the time, and this is a season where each loss hurts playoff chances more than a 162 game season. The Cubs have a good rotation and decent bullpen, which will help them. They have a great infield, with Jason Kipnis and Nico Hoerner splitting time at 2nd base and Contreras behind the plate. In my opinion, they have the best infield in the NL Central, maybe even the whole NL. They are great at the plate and have a very good outfield. They won their series vs the Brewers 2-1 winning game 1 3-0, losing game 2 8-3, and winning game 3 by a whopping 9-1. I see them in the playoffs as a wild card team.
#1 - St. Louis Cardinals
I absolutely HATE the Cardinals. That being said, I think that they will repeat as division champions. They have a good rotation and a good bullpen with Andrew Miller. Their infield is very good, and their outfield will be able to make plays. They just finished a series against the Pirates at Busch Stadium, winning the first 2 games, and lost 5-1 in the final game. They won the first 2 games 5-4, and then 9-1. I see them as the best team in the NL Central and I can see them in the NLCS. In my opinion, they will get hot and stay that way for 10-20 games.
Thank you for reading. Leave your opinion in the comments!