Chicago Cubs: Is the NL Central now the best division in baseball?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The “bottom feeders” aren’t so bad

The Pirates also finished above .500 last season, and with a full season from guys like Corey Dickerson, Adam Frazier and newly-acquired Lonnie Chisenhall, they could once again be pesky in the division.

Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams are quality starters, and if Chris Archer can evoke even a shell of his former self, their rotation is in good shape at the top. Pair that with one of the best back-end bullpens in the league–Kyle Crick, Richard Rodriguez and Felipe Vasquez–and the pitching staff shapes up quite nicely.

Will there be enough offense? That may depend on improvements from Josh Bell and a full, healthy season from Gregory Polanco to go along with the All-Star caliber play of Starling Marte. Regardless, the Pirates should win their fair share.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, the Reds’ trio of Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett carry the offense, while closer Raisel Iglesias headlines the pitching staff.

The rotation is still weak, but the Reds added a steady presence in Tanner Roark, and the bullpen has some quality arms like Jared Hughes and Michael Lorenzen.

The Reds do not have quite enough firepower or pitching depth to contend, but they should be improved in David Bell’s first season as manager.