MLB Predictions NL Central

MLB Predictions NL Central

It’s time to play ball as the 2023 Major League Baseball season returns.  Last season was wild, and the Houston Astros can finally raise a World Series trophy that won’t be tarnished by allegations of cheating. The 2023 campaign should bring a faster, more exciting game as changes and new rules are being implemented that all fans, and teams, will have to get used to. There were massive deals and huge roster moves so let’s break it all down and get you caught up. Here is a preview of the NL Central. 

What Happened in 2022:

Honestly, the NL Central was one of the more lackluster divisions in baseball in 2022. The St. Louis Cardinals won the division with just 93 wins and didn’t have to sweat it out as the Milwaukee Brewers had just 86 wins and finished in second place. The Chicago Cubs had a total down year with 74 wins while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds struggled a ton, racking up just 62 wins each. The Cards were favored heavily in the NL Wild Card, but the Philadelphia Phillies pulled off an improbable sweep and sent them packing. No one else from the division made the playoffs. While a clear rebuild is going through the Central, the hope is that a few young pieces will be more developed this season.

Players to Watch:

Brewers – C William ContrerasIn a shocking move, the Brewers were able to land Contreras in a 3-way deal with Atlanta. The young catcher was an NL All-Star last season who hit .278 with 20 home runs. His brother Willson, a former Cubs star, is now with the Cards.

Cubs -SS Dansby SwansonA new shortstop is in town at Wrigley Field, and he also comes from Atlanta. Swanson was a staple for the Braves over the years and hit .277 with 96 RBIs in a season that sent him to the All-Star game in 2022.

Pirates – SS Oneil CruzHe could very well be the next best power hitter in baseball. He belted 17 home runs in 331 at-bats in 2022 and he now gets a full season under his belt. His homers are showstopping.

Reds – P Hunter GreeneThe former number 2 overall pick did not enjoy his rookie year in the bigs. He went 5-13 with a 4.44 ERA. But he showed flashes of greatness with a ton of strikeouts and a lively arm.

Cardinals – 1B Paul GoldschmidtOne of the quietest players in the league and one of the best, Goldschmidt took home the ‘22 NL MVP honors. He hit .317 with 35 home runs and 115 RBIs. He is a terror in the middle of the lineup.

Biggest Additions and Subtractions:

The Cubs were the most active team in the free agency market, adding Swanson, Eric Hosmer, and former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP Cody Bellinger to try and improve a lineup that downright stunk last season. They watched Wilson Contreras leave their backstop and take over for Yadier Molina in St. Louis. It was a strange move as they opted not to trade and cash-in on him last season. Milwaukee added his brother but also destroyed their relationship with ace Corbin Burnes by fighting him through arbitration. And maybe the biggest news (not really), Andrew McCutchen will play another year in Pittsburgh, where he first became a star.


The Brewers let me down last year and I am not expecting much more this year so I will pick the Cardinals to repeat as division champs. They have a great lineup that just got better with Contreras and P Adam Wainwright will be incentivized to have his best year yet as retirement approaches. St. Louis Cardinals 96-66