Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Now, let's jump in as we have done the last week. We are going to be talking about the teams 5-1 and why. Then at the bottom will be my final predictions for the record. The NL Central was a bit easier to do than the NL East, and NL West is still a competitive division where things could change quickly. But overall, this is how I see things shaking out.
5. Coming in the last place is the Pittsburg Pirates. With Marte leaving via trade leaves a big hole in the lineup. With the additions of Jarrod Dyson, Francisco Liriano, Guillermo Heredia as the only FA additions. With a group of youngsters including Mitch Keller, Erik Gonzalez, Kevin Newman, Oniel Cruz, Blake Cederlind, Cody Ponce, Will Craig, and top organization prospect Ke' Bryan Hayes. All look to get their fair shot for in-game action. With their real ace in Tallion working back from injury, Archer did not show he was anywhere close to worth Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow. I don't think they will win some games they shouldn't, but they will lose more than anything.
4. The St. Louis Cardinals are my 4th place team in this division but not by a ton. With the additions of Brad Miller, Kwang-hyan Kim, I don't feel enough to replace Jose Martines and Marcella Ozuna and Michael Wacha. Look for Matthew Liberatore, Tyler O'Neil, Dylan Carlson, Justin Williams, who I expect all the be on the roster somewhere. Look for Junior Fernandez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, to be in the pitching mix as well. With Jordan Hicks possibly being healthy after being put on the 60day IL in February should help stabilize the rotation. Last season this team won the division with the weaker competition. But with them playing an improved NL Central and a tough AL Central, I don't see the Red Birds making a ton of noise this season.
3. The Cincinnati Reds are my 3rd place team in the central. With a much-improved roster with the additions of Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, Wade Miley, and Pedro Strop, Shogo Akiyama will help this team. In a contract year with Bauer, expect him to be sharp in 10-12 starts for this team and fellow SP Anthony DeSclafani. Add into an already promising roster the young Nick Lodolo, Jonathan India, and Jose Garcia. They will be getting both Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez back from injuries. With how good this team is and how they finally have Votto some talent, this team could be better than expected.
2. Once again, I find myself with a gut check for first and second place in a division. Still will be who do I believe is the more talented team and who can do it. There is a 1-2 game difference for these teams. The Chicago Cubs fall the 2nd place for me. They were able to keep the band together, Rizzo will be playing despite being high risk. With the additions of Steven Souza Jr, Ryan Tepera, and Daniel Winkler, who will play a role. While losing Castellanos, Hamels, Cishek, Kintzler, Graveman, Strop, Phelps, Lucroy, and Kemp hurts the Cubs. While the total is this about eight games of WAR. A more talented group of youngsters is ready to produce in Nico Hoerner, Alec Milles, Adbery Alzolay, Jharel Cotton, and Collin Rea. One of the best lineups in baseball features Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Schwarber, and Contreras. A rotation that has Darvish, Hendricks, and Lester. While Kimbrel stabilizes the pen, the set back for Quintana won't hurt them for opening day. This team has so many hitters who could push for a batting award. The Cubs have a reliable team with plenty of tools and assets to get the job done, and I think they will.
1. The Milwaukie Brewers won't let the Bucks be the only professional team to make the playoffs this year. With the list of additions this offseason being a good one with Omar Narvaez, Ryon Healy, Avisail Garia, Josh Lindblook, Justin Smoak, Brett Anderson, Eric Sogard, Jedd Gyorko, Alex Claudio, David Phelps, Brock Holt, Luis Urian, and Eric Lauer all coming in to give the Brew Crew amount ten total WAR. The replacements are replacing ten but are a little bit more quality with a better upside to me. It's just a great group of guys they got coming in to complement the roster. With hip-hop artist Ronny Rodriguez, Luis Urias, Ethan Small, Zack Brown, Mario Feliciano are all looking to make enough noise on the roster. With Bobby Wahl and Corey Knebel both coming back from injuries. Add all those players and talent to Yelich, Hirua, Braun, Woodruff, and Hader. I think they have enough to get Braun what he has worked hard for up to this point. In the Brew Crew, I trust!
The Final Standings based on Record
1- Brewers 44-16
2- Cubs 41-19
3- Reds 37-23
4- Cardinals 35-25
5- Marlins 22-38