Once upon a time, the NL Central was one of the worst divisions in all of baseball. In 2013, however, it’s very possible that it’s the best and most entertaining division in the league.
The three best teams in the National League reside in the NL Central: the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. All three squads have over 30 wins and are within three games from one another. Needless to say, this is a division race that should grab the attention from every baseball fan, even if they have no rooting interest.
If I had to choose a division winner, I would probably have to pick the Cardinals for the simple fact that they always find a way to win. It also helps that they probably have the most talented team in all of baseball as well. They were already one of the best last season, and now have a fully healthy Adam Wainwright leading the charge.
If you were to go with your heart, however, how can you not love the Pirates? It has literally been decades since we have seen the Bucs have a winning record, let alone make the playoffs. Last season, Pittsburgh teased everyone with greatness, but fell short in the end. This season, though, I’m willing to bet the Pirates are the real deal, especially with the way Starling Marte is playing.
The other team in the mix, the Reds, is a team I am pretty neutral on, so I really couldn’t care less what they do. However, if St. Louis doesn’t win the division, I have a hard time believing Pittsburgh can overcome the Reds.
Having said all that, this race should be something to pay attention to all season.