Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is healthy. They won 90 games without having him for much of last season. They have arguably the best bullpen in the division. The biggest questions, other than health, are the hiring of a rookie manager and whether or not rookie phenom Billy Hamilton can replace the on-base percentage posted by Shin-Soo Choo?
St. Louis Cardinals dodges bullets like Neo in the Matrix. And speaking of bullets … their starting pitchers might be the most powerful young arms in the game. If they progress my predictions are going to look off. However, I see a regression to the mean if injuries don’t take their toll. Trading hometown hero David Freese to the Angels and losing good luck charm Carlos Beltran to the Yankees is going to hurt the offense a great deal, and the Cards’ bullpen has power arms that have all choked at some point in time. Hopefully Jhonny Peralta will fail!
The Pirates have supreme young talent and a very deep minor league system that can fill any holes and bridge any gaps, but even if they all play to their potential – and under manager Clint Hurdle I believe they will — this team does not have the firepower to beat the Reds or the Cardinals. They will, however, continue the new trend of playing above .500 baseball.
The Brewers will be getting PED I mean former MVP Ryan Braun back. They did sign Matt Garza to a very reasonable contract and the rotation is not terrible, but it’s nowhere near those owned by the division’s better teams. Even with the MV-PED back, the lineup is mediocre at best.
The Cubs are the Cubs, and until they prove me wrong I will never give them a shot. The holes in the lineup and the rotation are plentiful and the same is true of the defense and the pen. President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein is supposedly a genius, and we’ve already seen him fix one cursed organization, but this rag tag bunch is going to make you gag. The team is not built to win now, nor in the near future. They do have some interesting pieces, but the rotation is the worst in the division, the pen is the worst in the division, the offense is the worst in the division, and the defense isn’t going to rival the Seattle Seahawks so Wrigley Field will continue to be an easy ticket in 2014.
Who will win the NL Central in 2014?
- Cincinnati Reds (67%, 2 Votes)
- St. Louis Cardinals (33%, 1 Votes)
- Milwaukee Brewers (0%, 0 Votes)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (0%, 0 Votes)
- Chicago Cubs (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 3