This year sure does have some intensity going into to it. If you remember correctly, I said last year was wide open. It sure didn’t seem that way at the end of the year, did it? The Brewers practically ran away with the division. Will it be that easy this year? Will we have a new division winner? Stay tuned and find out!
6th PLACE: I’m cursed. I haven’t won a World Series in over 100 years. Billy goats hate me. Who am I? I’m the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs just don’t really have anything to promising going on for them this year. It’s been bad for a few years, and this year, I see it getting worse. They lost Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez. Their only big bat they have left is Alfonso Soriano, and he’s just to inconsistent. I’m sorry Cubs fans (no I’m not) but it’s looking rough for you guys this year!
5th PLACE: Losing 100+ games is hard to deal with. This happened last year to our Astros. It was rough to deal with. All the name calling (The Lastros, The Half Asstros, and the AAAstros) gets old after a while. Even though I personally like The Half Asstros. That’s besides the point. This team will be lead by veterans Carlos Lee, Wandy Rodriguez, and Brett Myers. Bud Norris, Jose Altuve, and JD Martinez will also be marquee names to watch this year. I’m not going to go out of my mind a predict a division championship or wild card appearance just yet, but it’s coming. Things are pointing up for the hometown 9, and it all starts this year. ROOT. ROOT. ROOT!
4th PLACE: It seems like every year people are saying that it’s time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to get ove .500. It hasn’t been that time in a while. But this year, I think it’s their year to get over .500. They have a pretty talented lineup led by Andrew McCutchen. They don’t have the best starting rotation, but they can still battle it out. Once AJ Burnett gets back, that rotation will get a lot stronger. Then it all comes down to closing down the games, and they have one of the best right now. Joel Hanrahan. As much as I don’t like seeing them finish in front of the Astros, it’s going to happen.
3rd PLACE: This is where things get sketchy. Nobody really went after anyone in the offseason. In fact, two of the best power hitters in the game have left this division. In fact, one of those guys left this team. The defending Central champs, Milwaukee Brewers, are taking up the 3rd place spot. I know they won’t be satisfied with that. It’s obviously not set this way. This is just speculation. I honestly think anyone of the 3 teams left could finish here. This just seems like the most logical team to be placed here. They still have a good lineup led by Ryan Braun and a pretty good rotation led by Zach Grienke. They can still get the job done. This is going to be a division to watch down the stretch.
2nd PLACE: The St. Louis Cardinals are the defending World champs. Just because I don’t have them winning the division doesn’t mean they can’t get in the playoffs again. Like last year, I see them finishing second in the division. They lost a future Hall of Famer in Albert Pujols in free agency. They did, however, get Adam Wainwright back from injury, but also lost Chris Carpenter until at least May. It’s going to be hard to win with out Pujols, but I think it can be done. They may not win this division, but I think they can pull out a wild card spot just like last year. Especially now that there is two wild card spots open.
1st PLACE: First place goes to the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are led by former NL MVP Joey Votto and the newly acquired Mat Latos. They will be very dangerous down the stretch. I’ve said it earlier, I’ll say it again. This is going to be a division to watch at the end of the season. Sure, they lost Ryan Madson, but I think they can cope with out him. They have a young power arm in Aroldis Chapman. He will be a main guy in their success. I think he’ll take over the closers role and help push the Reds to an NL Central Championship.