With final roster decisions in the books and the 2020 season underway at long last, it’s time to make some predictions. We’ve started to poll the MLBTR readership on each of the game’s six divisions — starting with the AL Central. With plenty more teams primed to crack the postseason under the inclusive new playoff qualification system, let’s jump the pond and take a look at the NL Central.
Kyle Hendricks gave the Cubs an early lead in the division yesterday with a 2 1/2 hour complete game shutout of the Brewers. The Reds were right there with them in blowing away the Tigers. Many believe the Reds won the offseason, and their beefed-up lineup looks to bullrush the rest of the division. Matt Davidson took the Reds’ DH at-bats in game one, but newcomers Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos will cycle through as well. The pitching is underrated, and they’re going to be a force. The Brewers roll out two of the most impactful rostered players in the sport in Josh Hader and Christian Yelich, a dangerous pair of superstars in a short season. The Pirates are an organization in transition, and if they manage a string together a competitive 60-game season, it’ll be a surprise. Until a new champ is crowned, however, the Cardinals remain the toast of the NL Central. With Carlos Martinez back in the rotation and Matt Carpenter set to take a healthy slate of DH at-bats, the 2020 Cardinals are a slightly different shape, but no less formidable.
Which team do you think is the best of the bunch? (Poll link for app users.)