The NL Central is the most jam-packed division in MLB with every single team in contention. Here’s how the division should turn out in the end.
In the NL Central, the last-place Reds are behind the first-place Cubs by a dinky nine games. Compare this to the AL East where the second-place Rays are behind the first-place Yankees by the same exact amount. Or, perhaps compare this to the NL West where the second-place Diamondbacks are behind by a COLOSSAL 16 GAMES!
This shows that the race for the NL Central will be down to the wire.
Now, I will tell you my predictions on who will be in during October, the ones who won’t, and the ones who may shock the world.
More from Call to the Pen
- Philadelphia Phillies, ready for a stretch run, bomb St. Louis Cardinals
- Philadelphia Phillies: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore
- Boston Red Sox fans should be upset over Mookie Betts’ comment
- Analyzing the Boston Red Sox trade for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen
- 2023 MLB postseason likely to have a strange look without Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals
Cubs: The first-place Cubs are 7-3 in their last 10 games and don’t look like they are going to let up on the gas as we wind down our season. They have a powerful starting rotation with some big names like Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, and Jon Lester and they have superstar Craig Krimbel in their closing bullpen.
Then as you look at the field, you see a strong player at each position. With Kris Bryant on third, Anthony Rizzo on first, and Javier Baez at shortstop, this strong Cubs team has pitching depth and superstar power that will look to take them deep into the postseason.
I believe that the Cubs will first place in their division by a close amount of games.
Brewers: The Brewers are sitting just behind the Cubs in second place by the small margin of two games. In the remainder of the season, they will face the first-place Cubs 13 more times
Although they have a winning record against the Cubs this season, these remaining games will not be a cakewalk. The Brewers will look to keep up the pace and I presume that they will not be able to take possession of first place again this season.
Cardinals: The Cardinals are hovering just above 500. this season and will need to start really putting in on for the remainder of the season in order to catch the Brewers and Cubs.
With one of their stars injured in Matt Carpenter and the other powerhouse teams in their division, I do not think the Cardinals will be able to show up for the remainder of the year and will end up near the bottom of the division.
Pirates: The Pirates who had a great start have been playing very substandard baseball. In their last 10 games, they have posted a 3-7 record.
With an injury in the right-handed pitcher, Keona Kela, and then missing talent behind the plate at catcher, I believe that the Pirates season will continue to go downhill and end with a spot in dead last for the division.
Reds: The Reds may be in last in the division right now, but should not be counted out in the wild card race. If some of the Reds veterans step up like Yaziel Puig, Joey Votto, and pitcher Sonny Gray they have a shot to go on a winning streak and take the second-place spot in the NL Central division.
But, it may take other teams losing as well to get there. If the Reds are able to end the season 85+ wins, they will be able to take one of the two NL wildcard spots.
In conclusion, the NL Central but will hopefully have one of tightest finishes in a division in the history of baseball.
With the 2016 World Series champions in the Chicago Cubs in first place, I believe they will stay there and the dark horse Cincinnati Reds will sneak on into second place, making the Wild Card game.