National League Central
1. Cincinnati Reds - they won last year and look to have the core of that team back. Love Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce. Looks like they are going to make Aroldis Chapman a starter and keep Jonathan Broxton as the closer. Dusty Baker is a great regular season manager.
2. St. Louis Cardinals - the only team that could possibly challenge the Reds. Probably the best organization in baseball over the last 40 years. Always a contender. Jusat solid. Need another big year from Carlos Beltran and will need to hope Chris Carpenter adn Adam Wainwright are healthy starting pitchers.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates - they contended for about 2/3's of the season...and maybe this year they can break the string of 20 straight losing seasons. CF Andrew McCutchen is one of the best players in teh game. Traded all-star Joel Hanrahan to Boston, so will have to re-tool the bullpen.
4. Milwaukee Brewers - Pretty good lineup anchored by Ryan Braun. Pitching is a question. Yovani Gallardo is the ace, but rest of starting staff unproven.
5. Chicago Cubs - year two of the Theo Epstein regime. Starling Castro is probably their best hitter...but they need a lot more. Still haven't been able to jettison Alfonso Soriano who is a big liabilty in the outfield. Long year at Wrigley Field
*Note* All five teams are significantly hurt by the Houston Astros being switched to the American League. When you play 18 games or so against division rivals - and lose the opportunity to feast on the Astros, both the Reds and Cardinals will be hurt when it comes to battling for home field advantage and wild card chances.
BASEBALL TRIVIA CONTEST: Win a 15-ticket Flex Pack from the Boise Hawks - where you can pick the games you get to see - a $130 value! Email the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will draw a winner from all correct answers.
The NL Central question - who scored the winning run to end the Pirates season the last time they had a winning season?