NL Central Win Totals Bets for 2023
I've started with a preview of the very tough NL East. Now I turn my attention to the NL Central. There aren't nearly as many great teams in the Central as there are in the East. These are just my brief previews of each team. If you want official plays, grab the MLB futures package from BTB and BTBJesse. They also provide plays for every day of the season and had a great run last year.
St. Louis Cardinals, 93-69 last year, 1st in division
The Cardinals are going to win this division again this year. I'm not sure that they will be better last than they were last year but they certainly have the potential to be. Their pitching staff, if it remains healthy, is arguably better than most teams in the National League. They don't have a true ace on the squad, but they have four very good pitchers. Their hitting got a bit better with the addition of Willson Contreras and he also should improve their defense a bit. I think this is another 90-win year for the Cardinals. I'll happily take them over 88.5.
Milwaukee Brewers, 86-76, 2nd
The Brewers are not a team I believe in. They are led by their pitching staff but maybe I'm just a hater. Corbin Burnes is a good pitcher, but I'm not convinced that Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta are going to consistently be successful for the Brewers. Their bullpen was a strength of them for so long, and now they are just okay. The hitting isn't all that impressive either. I look at their lineup and see some good players, but nothing that I'd rank in the upper half of the National League. Christian Yelich was talented years ago, but he's fallen off of a cliff. If he can regain form, maybe they have a chance but at 85.5 I'd lean under. It will be tight though.
Chicago Cubs, 74-88, 3rd
I'll start by mentioning that I'm a Cubs fan. I like that they finally have spent some cash in the offseason and they do look like they are ready to compete once again. The addition of Dansby Swanson should make a difference this season and to the club culture overall. If they can get bounceback seasons from Trey Mancini and Cody Bellinger, they may have a shot at stopping the Cardinals from coasting to a division win. We will see how the pitching staff - both starters and relievers - perform this year. I think there is potential for them to have a nice season though. I think they get over 80 wins this year and see them at 77.5 right now.
Pittsburgh Pirates, 62-100, 4th
I'm assuming that these pitchers on the squad will be traded away if they are performing well at all this season. Same thing can be said with the lineup. The goal for the Pirates is to not lose 100 games and to just keep stockpiling assets in the minor leagues for the hope that they can make a run for the playoffs in a couple of seasons. I'm not sure that they will get much better. I won't play their win total one way or another but at 68.5 I can't advocate to play the over.
Cincinnati Reds, 62-100, 5th
If you spent any time reading the paragraph about the Pirates, you can basically use the same analysis about the Reds. If they have anyone playing well, there is no doubt in my mind they are going to trade those players away. That would prevent them from getting over any win total. If they are playing really well, the win total could be fairly easy to get over. The total is lowe at just 65.5, but what from this roster gives me any indication of an over? Nothing. I won't play it because there is very little room for error, but I expect them to lose 100 games again.
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