Chicago Cubs: Cubbies Crib staff talks 2019, makes their predictions

(Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Is the NL Central the best division in baseball this year?

Bill Rakosnik (Contributor): 

Yes, top to bottom it will be the most competitive division. Remember just before the trade deadline last year the Pirates still had an outside shot at a Wild Card spot. They even made a few moves such as trading for Chris Archer to bolster their roster not only for last season but going forward as well.

Bill Quinn (Contributor): 

I think it has the chance to be. The Brewers, Cardinals and Reds have all made moves that prove they’re trying to go for it.  I think there’s the possibility that all teams are above .500 and three teams have a chance to win 90 games.

I don’t think you’re going to see the ’15 top 3 with 100, 98, and 97 wins at the top end, but you’re also not going to see two 60-something win teams in the cellar.  I think the NL Central and the AL East will be the two best divisions this year, but we won’t have a Baltimore to beat up on in the Central.  

Alex Patt (Contributor):

I would say it is definitely the best in terms of competition. The AL East may have the two biggest powerhouses in the Yankees and Red Sox, but then they also have Baltimore way at the bottom. The NL Central has teams that are all capable of at least being .500 or greater.

I think the Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals are all capable of winning the division with all the teams at least being in Wild Card mix. The Reds are definitely a team to watch out for, if all goes well do not rule them out either.

Erik Mauro (Contributor):

No, the AL East may have three 90+ win teams.

Logan Whaley (Contributor): 

Regarding the talent level, it is close however just misses the beat. The division itself will be incredibly competitive with the Cardinals’ major additions of Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller. The Brewers, of course, will be looking to return to the top and even the Reds should be a major improvement from last season.

Come late September, it will be the division to watch as it could see the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers all vying for the top spot – and a playoff berth.

Marty Fenn (Contributor):

I’m with both Bill’s. When you have three teams that are all capable of winning 90-plus games and the other two likely to win at least 80 games, you have the deepest division in baseball.

The AL East is top-heavy and the Rays could see some regression since they will be giving tons of at-bats to a lot of young talent. The NL East is deep as well, but not quite as talented as the NL Central.

Jake Misener (Expert):

In terms of overall talent? No. In terms of balance and consistent competition? Yes. St. Louis made some big-time moves and you can’t sleep on what Milwaukee, Cincinnati or Pittsburgh did, either.

That’s not to discount the roster the Cubs head into Spring Training action with – but while Chicago stood pat on their guys, the rest of the division notably improved.

Nicholas Blazek (Expert):

Top to bottom, it’s by far the best in the league. The top team might not come from the Central, but that will be because of the competition within the division. There are no ‘gimmes’ this year, minus maybe the Pirates.

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