Baseball season is almost here! There’s no better way to celebrate the upcoming season other than an arbitrary top-5 list. Here’s are my predictions for NL Central.
1) Chicago Cubs
The Cubs should clinch their third NL Central title in a row. Despite Jake Arrieta leaving, they boast one of the best rotations in the whole league with the addition of Yu Darvish. Their bullpen remains questionable as always, but the Cubs are working to make that wrong right. They’ve added Brandon Morrow as a closer and Steve Chisek. With the recent departure of Justin Grimm, they’ve added space for the likes of Anthony Bass and Eddie Butler.
Despite Arrieta and John Lackey’s departure (a blessing in disguise?), the core group that helped the club achieve three straight postseason appearances is still there and ready to make up for the failure of the last season.
2) Milwaukee Brewers
Yes, the Brewers. Last year they surprised everyone. It looked like they were legitimate candidates for the postseason, then they collapsed in September, but it seems like they are ready to right that wrong with great additions to their roster such as Lorenzo Cain. The Brewers – should they not choke again – are prime wild-card material.
3) St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are looking to re-establish themselves after missing the postseason twice in a row now. They’ve done a lot recently to maximize their depth. They acquired Marcel Ozuna from the Miami Marlins which should boost up their left field. Trading off Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty to the Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics gave them players to pad up their farm system.
Between Dexter Fowler and Matt Carpenter, they have the offense out there on the field, but will most likely fall short a few games behind the Brewers in the NL Central Race.
4) Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are still in their rebuild phase. It’s been how many years now? Despite that, the Reds have a young group of players waiting to prove themselves to the world. Plus, they’ve made some great offseason deals. They’ve extended Eugenio Suarez contract for another seven years and Joey Votto is still with the club.
5) Pittsburgh Pirates
After they traded Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen, they’ve basically conceded NL Central. But hey, at least they will try this year – maybe.