NL Central Preview: Cards and Brewers Battle in 2-Horse Race


March 29

There aren’t a lot of powerful threats in the National League Central, which should ultimately come down to the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.

We’ll dive into each team in the division with their odds of winning it from FanDuel Sportsbook. 

St. Louis Cardinals (-130)

If you’re going to support the St. Louis Cardinals to go back-to-back in the NL Central, you’ll have to lay some juice in doing so at -130. The Cardinals saw a pair of future Hall of Famers sail off into the sunset in Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, but they’re still projected to win the Central. Willson Contreras gives them some pop from the catching position, while Jordan Walker cracked the opening-day roster and is one of baseball’s most exciting young prospects. The NL Central is the Redbirds to lose, and they have the makings of a team ready to go back-to-back. 

Milwaukee Brewers (+165)

It almost feels like the same old story with the Milwaukee Brewers heading into this new season. Pitching will be a strength with a rotation headlined by Corbin Burnes, but the offense is still a glaring question mark. Their rotation might be good enough that they can win many one-run tight contests, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some reservations about the Brewers finding success in 2023. A lackluster division certainly benefits them, while an even bigger bounce-back year from Christian Yelich could be the spark. 

Chicago Cubs (+600)

The hope for the Chicago Cubs in 2023 is that some of the signings made in free agency pay off and they catch lightning in a bottle. Oddsmakers aren’t leaving the possibility out, considering they aren’t crazy longshots at +600 to win the Central. Whether that’s more about the talent in the division than their actual roster is to be determined. The signing of Dansby Swanson gives them a new attractive piece for the heart of the order, while a return to form from Cody Bellinger isn’t out of the question. It’ll take some things going right for the Cubs, but don’t count them out in 2023. 

Pittsburgh Pirates (+3800)

The Pittsburgh Pirates at least have some young pieces that might draw your attention. Oneil Cruz is one of baseball’s most exciting young players, while the team hopes Ke’Bryan Hayes continues to make strides at the hot corner. Pitching should continue to be an issue for the Pirates, but there’s at least some hope for optimism here, unlike these Bucs, projected to finish in the basement with our next team up. 

Cincinnati Reds (+6000)

We’re still not at the point yet in the Reds rebuild where you’re seeing tangible young pieces inserted into their lineup to make you excited about watching the team. The Reds are expected to be one of the worst teams in baseball in 2023, and there’s no real case to be made for them in this division, even if it’s not one that’s loaded. 

MLB Division Previews: NL East | NL WestAL Central

Odds for all five NL Central teams on the FanDuel Sportsbook. 

Team NL Central Odds NL Pennant Odds World Series Odds
St. Louis Cardinals -130 1000 2000
Milwaukee Brewers 165 1500 3500
Chicago Cubs 600 4000 8000
Pittsburgh Pirates 3800 8000 20000
Cincinnati Reds 6000 10000 25000


Thumbnail photo via USA TODAY Sports Images

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