2008 NL Central Preview
With six teams, the NL Central is the largest division in MLB. That makes this division exceptionally difficult to master. So often, the NL Central comes down to the final week and, as teams whittle away at one another, it’s difficult for any of these clubs to win the Wild Card.
This season, the Chicago Cubs look like the team to beat. The Cubbies offer the finest rotation in the league, a group of primed hitters and one of the best managers around—Lou Piniella. But the Cubs must locate a closer. That’s incumbent if they expect to get to the post-season and, after a 100-year wait, win the World Series.
For second-place and to vie for first also, look to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have offense and the potential for some fine starting pitching. But do they have a dominant closer and can they recover from last year’s debacle when they crashed and burned at the end of the season?
The Reds have potential but may not offer much else. They possess an average rotation but better than average bullpen. The Red’s offense and defense are also both average. There’s not a whole lot of exceptional stuff here but there’s enough to clog up the works in the Central Division.
The Houston Astros have an improved offense but an exceptionally weak pitching staff. Closer Jose Valverde, who led the majors with 47 saves, comes to Houston from Arizona. As far as “D” is concerned, the outfield is better than the infield.
2008 National League Central Predictions
Projected Order of Finish:
Click on team name for individual team preview.