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2023 NL Central Preview

2023 NL Central Preview

The 2023 MLB season begins on 3/30, but spring training is already in full effect. The St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Central last season and were bounced in the Wild Card to the eventual NL Champ Phillies. The Cardinals were the only NL Central team to make the postseason last year.

Let’s take a look at the odds of winning the NL Central this season.

Odds to win the NL Central

Team Odds to Win Division Season Win Total
St. Louis Cardinals -120 88.5
Milwaukee Brewers +160 85.5
Chicago Cubs +650 77.5
Pittsburgh Pirates +4500 67.5
Cincinnati Reds +6000 66.5

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

The NL Central had just one playoff team last season, the division winner St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers put up a fight for most of the season, but the Cubs, Pirates, and Reds never threatened to win the division title. 

The Cardinals (-120) are the favorites, with the Brewers (+160) on their tail. St. Louis has a stout roster, and they bolstered their lineup and defense by signing Willson Contreras to a 5-year $87.5 million deal from their divisional rival Cubs. 

Milwaukee (+160)  had a disappointing 2022, which seems like the disappointment may roll into 2023. All they did in free agency was sign Wade Miley, but they made trades for Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro to strengthen their lineup and trades for Janson Junk, Justin Yeager, Joel Payamps, and Elvin Peguero to add to their pitching staff. 

The Cubs (+650) were in the midst of a rebuild last year, but they got busy this off-season to try to be more competitive this year. The Cubs lost key players like Contreas, Miley, and Jason Heyward. Still, Chicago signed Dansby Swanson, Jameson Taillon, Trey Mancini, Cody Bellinger, Michael Fulmer, Eric Hosmer, and more, spending over $300 million in contracts in free agency. 

The Pirates (+4500) have a win total of 67.5, and they added a few players in Rich Hill, Carlos Santana, Austin Hedges, and Andrew McCutchen. The Reds (+6000) are in no position to win now, and they were quiet, signing just Wil Myers, Curt Casali, and Luke Maile. Their win total is set at 65.5.

2023 NL Central Bets to Consider

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers, NL Cy Young (+550) – Burnes had a down year last season, but he was still one of the best pitchers in the NL, and he has already proven he can win this award.

Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals, NL MVP (+1800) – Arenado finished 10th in baseball in total WAR last season. Arenado has been electric throughout his career, so he should be considered for this award this season.

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