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National League Central Preview and Predictions – 2021 Season

National League Central Preview
(Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

National League Central Preview incoming! The Vendetta baseball are getting ready for this MLB season, giving their predictions and what they are looking forward to. We already wrote the NL East preview and the NL West preview, so here is the final National League division. Let’s get into it!

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs won the division in 2020, but their head of baseball operations Theo Epstien has left the Cubs to work for the league office. The man who broke their championship curse has moved on, and the team is beginning a new era.

Yu Darvish has been traded to the Padres, so their pitching staff will look different from the past. Kyle Hendrix is their opening day starter, but the rotations is not great past him. They signed Jake Arrieta who has been in Chicago in the past but was not there for the last few seasons.

The Cubs let Kyle Schwarber walk away from Chicago as well, his contract was up so he went and signed with the Braves. They signed Joc Pedeson to fill his void, and they still have plenty of young stars in the lineup. Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Wilson Contreas will lead the team with rumors swirling of a Kris Bryant trade incoming.

Prediction: Cubs move Bryant to try and fill in the blanks on their pitching staff. This is a top heavy division, so if they want to make the playoffs they need to beat up on the lower tier teams. Cubs will win around 90 games this year.

Milwaukee Brewers

The team from Wisconsin has been the ideal small market team for winning. They do not have the biggest payroll, but have some solidified studs on the roster.

Their biggest off-season move was trading for Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays, giving them a clear number 1 starter going into the season. They got through arbitration with Josh Hader, so he is back to close things out of the bullpen for them.

Christian Yellich, the former MVP is going to be their key in the lineup. He struggled with staying healthy in the shortened 2020 season, so if he is 100% healthy he is one of the best and most dominant player in the entire league. Between Yellich and Lorezo Cain, the outfield is set, so they are one more solid guy in the infield away from being the best team in the division.

Prediction: I think this team needs one more starter that can get them deep into games, so expect an in season move for them to fully get to the next level. This is an 80 win team without another player on the roster.

St. Louis Cardinals

This is a team that never seems to go away, in the mix for a playoff berth year after year, and for most of my life have had the same guys at the helm of the ship. They re-signed Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, the dynamic pitcher-catcher duo that leads the team.

Oh yeah, by the way they got one of the best third baseman in baseball Nolan Arenado for next to nothing from the Rockies. The Rockies are paying $50 million to get rid of his contract which the Cardinals will take on.

The infield will be elite in St. Louis now in addition to Arenado, they have Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong so their infield bats as well as defensively stack against any other major league club.

They need some more starters, Wainwright makes me nervous to go deep in the season with productive innings, so one more arm to help Jack Flaherty will be a huge help.

Prediction: This team wins 70 plus games, but expect them to try and get another arm if the team starts well and can be a post season contender.

Cincinatti Reds

The Reds are an interesting team on paper, they have a stacked bullpen and a shut down closer with Amir Garret to end games, but they might not even get to him in most games. They signed Sean Doolittle to help keep leads, but they need hitters to score runs.

The right side of the infield can hit with Joey Votto at first and Mike Moustakis at second, but they have holes to fill to have 162 game season success.

Aside from Sonny Gray, they don’t have a real deep rotation, and even with a great bullpen they will need more arms to win games.

Prediction: I do not see this team getting over 60 wins, especially with their tough division.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Scrolling though the Pirates depth chart was more painful then I imagined, after losing Josh Bell this off-season this team needs a lot of work.

Colin Moran will most likely be their best position player, but they are looking for their young guys internally to make growth and prove they are worthy of being on the field.

Prediction: If this team wins more then 50 games I will be shocked, this is not their year to compete in the majors, so hopefully their young guys can get some major league experience so the organization can see what they got.

TL//DR: National League Central preview: Top heavy division, the Cubs and the Brewers seem to be the teams, but I can’t count of the Brew Crew for making a division title run.

National League Central Preview Standings:

  1. Cubs
  2. Cardinals
  3. Brewers
  4. Reds
  5. Pirates



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