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National League Central Preview 2020

Competition will be Tough

Our NL Central Preview 2020 page gives you a quick glance at each team. Use this NL Central Preview 2020 to connect with each of our team pages. Those team pages offer a complete preview of each club in the division. Included is an analysis of each club’s starting rotation, relievers, and every day players. We also consider every teams recent history, trades, and free-agent signings. In the NL Central, we like the Milwaukee Brewers. They’ve got a solid starting five and have retained some good hitters.

Although we’ve picked the Chicago Cubs to finish second, we could have easily chosen the St. Louis Cardinals to be in the two-spot. The Cards have a way of getting the job done, while the Cubs could struggle to meet expectations. By the way, the Cincinnati Reds are on the upswing. They could be a dark horse in this race. One team you won’t have to worry about are the Pittsburgh Pirates. They cleaned house and are starting a major rebuilding effort.

NL Central Preview 2020 – Teams

In this section, we provide you with a quick a six-point assessment of each NL Central team. We note three strengths and three weaknesses for each team. These mini reviews are designed to offer a very fast view of each club. Of course, our NL Central team previews have been created to provide you with the specifics you need to understand how each club will do in the regular season. To get the full picture of the National League make sure that you access the profile of each team. To connect with the complete preview simply click on the team name.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Chicago Cubs

Strengths

  • SP Yu Darvish can bring it
  • Big plus if closer Kimbrel can rebound
  • There’s power in those bats

Weaknesses

  • Need upgrade in CF; Ian Happ is hapless
  • Rotation gets spongy from Lester down
  • Manager Joe Maddon is gone, why?

Cincinnati Reds

Strengths

  • 3B Suarez has plenty of power
  • Addition of 2B Moustakas offers more power
  • Closer Iglesias has more than one inning in him

Weaknesses

  • Could use more bats
  • Question marks in bottom part of rotation
  • 1B Votto in major regression mode

Milwaukee Brewers

Strengths

  • RF Christian Yelich an elite player
  • Closer Josh Hader the master of multi-inning saves
  • In 2019, third in home runs and fifth in OBP

Weaknesses

  • Starting rotation has some question marks
  • 1B Smoak in decline
  • In 2019, last in NL with runner in scoring position

Pittsburg Pirates

Strengths

  • In 2019, rookie LF Bryan Reynolds hit .314 with 57 extra-base hits
  • 1B Bell premium power hitter
  • New manager Derek Shelton combines old and new school techniques

Weaknesses

  • Shelton must detox clubhouse
  • Rotation is thin
  • CF Starling Marte is now with D-backs

St Louis Cardinals

Strengths

  • SP Jack Flaherty is a dependable workhorse
  • First-year manager Shildt got the team to the playoffs
  • Solid minor league system

Weaknesses

  • Rotation drops off quickly
  • Paul Goldschmidt needs bats around him to hit projected stats
  • Almost no new additions

Our NL Central Preview 2020 Projections

In creating our NL Central Preview 2020, we found that the Pirates and Reds are lacking. Pittsburgh is starting to rebuild while Cincy has been rebuilding and improving. However, the Red Legs are not yet in a place where they can be competitive. The three other teams, the Brewers, Cubs, and Cardinals, could be interchangeable. In other words, we see this division being a three-way race with the Brew Crew finally taking it down.

  1. Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Chicago Cubs (Wildcard)
  3. St Louis Cardinals
  4. Cincinnati Reds
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates

pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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