NL Central odds from PointsBet NJ, IN, IL, MI
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- St. Louis Cardinals (+120)
- Milwaukee Brewers (+290)
- Cincinnati Reds (+350)
- Chicago Cubs (+430)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+10000)
Prediction: Everyone is on the Cardinals, but it was the Cubs that won the division in 2020. This would be the one division I would take one or two of the other teams for the value, especially as the Fan Graphs prediction has the Cards under .500.
I would take a shot with Milwaukee (+290) or Cincinnati (+350), but if I was pushed, I would say the Brewers.
Most people think the biggest move of the offseason in the National League Central was by St. Louis, bringing in Nolan Arenado to bolster the center of the lineup.
But remember, in the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season, the Cardinals won the third most games in the division: it was the Chicago Cubs that won the NL Central.
All three teams that made the expanded MLB playoffs last year lost in the first round. The teams combined to win one game of seven, two to teams that then got swept in the NLDS.
This division should be competitive, but the Central is clearly the third best of three in the National League.
The Cubs, Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds were the playoff teams in 2020, but the team getting some buzz right now is Milwaukee, which just missed out. The Brewers upgraded their defense by a lot, and could be in the running to win this race.
The only team that will not be in this race are the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It might not take 90 wins to take home the NL Central title: Fan Graphs has 86 winning it, and just one team over .500. Will it play out like that?
But the team that wins might not have to be excellent, which opens it up to four of the teams.