NL Central Division Preview for MLB 2023
Chicago Cubs – This team appears to be heading for another tough finish and their lineup appears to be lacking. However, the starting pitching could surprise because it is filled with pitchers who give reason for optimism. But if these guys fall short this team could really struggle because the bullpen has some question marks and this lineup is just not what it use to be.
Cincinnati Reds – Reds have fallen off dramatically. Last year was a disaster and this year shapes up for more of the same. Just too much missing from this roster. Take a look at their lineup and it is just a lot of unproven guys at that this level and then the rotation does not really have high-end guys. Decent starting staff but just not the kind of guys that dominate very often on their turns in the rotation. Not enough to trust through the lineup and the bullpen is decent but not as good as others in the division for sure.
Milwaukee Brewers – Decent lineup and will be particularly solid if Yelich can resume some of the past magic he had. Yelich has just not been the same guy in recent seasons. The strength of this team though is a very strong pitching rotation. The starting pitching for Milwaukee is great but the Hader departure from the team that occurred last season really hurt these Brewers. Still a solid bullpen but still not quite the same as it was previous to that trade last year.
Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates are still a struggling team but trying to be more competitive and they are getting there and, thanks to how bad the Cubs and Reds are, they should be able to slip into the #3 spot in the standings this season. I liked the off-season they had. Of course they did not bring in studs as this is not the Yankees we are talking about yet they did bring in solid guys that can contribute and help this team keep trying work its way back the .500 team they use to be. Concern with pitching rotation here as the top-2 very solid but the rest involves major question marks with each guy.
St Louis Cardinals – Such a solid organization that just continues to be solid year after year. They again should be the class of the NL Central this season as well. Couple of guys in starting rotation with injury concerns but if they stay healthy, the Cards will be particularly strong. The bullpen looks solid. The lineup has a lot of strong contributors and in the field they have some gold glovers. Just a great all-around team that, if stays healthy, could be in the mix for representing the NL in the World Series.