2024 NL Central Preview

2024 NL Central Preview

This baseball offseason had the makings of a Hollywood movie. The greatest player the game has seen in decades, perhaps ever, was a free agent, another generational star was traded, a new Japanese superstar looks to make his stamp on the game, and the reigning NL Cy Young winner was finally signed right before the season began. Hopefully, the 2024 season will live up to the hype. We are fresh off a fun World Series with two teams that we didn’t see coming and new stars are set to take over the game. Let’s dive into some divisional previews. Here’s our 2024 NL Central preview.

What Happened in 2023:

The NL Central was very unimpressive in 2023.  It was capped off by the division winning Milwaukee Brewers, who won 92 games, getting swept by the Diamondbacks in the NL Wildcard series and ending their season quickly. Behind them, it wasn’t much better. The Cubs and Reds finished second and third, but that second place finish was enough to give David Ross the boot in Chicago. Who did they replace him with? Craig Counsell who was the Brewers manager last season.  So, there was some fun drama once it all ended. The big surprise though was how bad the Cardinals were. They were 20 games under .500 to finish the year and we saw the end of the Adam Wainright era in the process, as he retired after 18 years with the Cards.

Best Players to Watch:

Brewers – Jackson ChourioWe are still waiting for Chourio to make his big-league debut, but he is the leader of the youth that the Brewers have waiting to make an impact and he should be a fun outfielder to watch develop.

Cubs – Shota ImanagaA Japanese pitcher who was right behind the two Dodgers additions that everyone wanted from Asia, Imanaga put up major numbers in his eight-year career in Japan and will be at the top of the Cubs rotation.

Pirates – Oneil CruzHe had just 32 at-bats in 2023 so we are still waiting to see what Cruz has to offer, but he is going to be a star at this level as long as he stays healthy. His stellar spring is only adding to the excitement.

Reds – Elly De La CruzFun to watch is an understatement. He burst onto the scene in 2023, he can hit the ball almost 500 feet, and he steals bases with ease. We are talking about the next five-tool player in baseball.

Cardinals – Sonny GrayHe was fantastic a season ago with the Twins and really rebounded his career, now he gets to pitch for the team he has always wanted to play for and could be the Cards next ace.

Biggest Addition and Subtraction:

Addition: Rhys Hoskins (Brewers) – I have always liked Hoskins bat and the fire that he plays with. He missed all of last season and has a lot to prove this time around with his new team.

Subtraction: Corbin Burnes (Brewers) – It felt apparent that Burnes wouldn’t be a longtime Brewer when the team took him to arbitration after his Cy Young season in 2021. It is not easy to lose an ace, much less a guy who has won the award for best pitcher in baseball.


I am all in on the Cubs this year with Counsell managing the team and this roster coming into its own a season ago. Don’t count out the Reds either who have loads of young talent. Division Winner: Chicago Cubs, 93-69