Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2012 MLB Season Preview Part 5: NL Central

NL Central

Coming down to the finish line here, I'd like to get this completed before the season begins later tonight. Will thus limit each team's preview to no more than two sentences...

1. Brewers
PECOTA: 86 wins
My take: Even

The top-flight pitching staff is backed up by a much-improved defense. Losing Prince Fielder certainly hurts but the lineup still has plenty of pop.

2. Reds
PECOTA: 85 wins
My take: Even

Solid all-around team in every respect, the addition of Mat Latos keeps them contending all season long. The result, thanks to some inevitable blunders from manager Dusty Baker, will be just short of the postseason.

3. Cardinals
PECOTA: 89 wins
My take: Under

Overall, the team looks surprisingly well-off despite losing one of the best players in team history. Besides Pujols, there's been far too much change here for them to keep up the championship pace, though.

4. Cubs
PECOTA: 74 wins
My take: Even

All eyes are on Theo Epstein and his gang of mighty men to see how they will go about turning this underwhelming group into contenders. If they don't immediately gut the team, the Cubs might surprise some people.

5. Pirates
PECOTA: 72 wins
My take: Even

At this point, they've had the worst 20-year stretch of any team in sports history so I'll be pulling for them to improve. Not bloody likely, though.

6. Astros
PECOTA: 62 wins
My take: Way under

How long can the DisAstros go? Certainly less than 50 wins and maybe a shot at the most losses ever.

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