Chicago Cubs: Keeping up with the competition in the National League

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

Pardon the Kardashian reference in the title, but you may have noticed that the Chicago Cubs will play in what could be the most competitive division in all of baseball this season.

With the Milwaukee Brewers looking to repeat as National League Central division champions, the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds making marked upgrades in the offseason and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ young core continuing to improve, the NL Central could be a bloodbath for the Chicago Cubs in 2019.

There has been plenty to focus on internally–and not in a good way–this offseason. From Addison Russell‘s status with the club to the revelation of the Joe Ricketts emails to rather subtle additions in free agency, this winter has provided ample fodder for Cubs fans.

But what is there to know about the competition with Opening Day a little more than three weeks away? What makes the NL Central so challenging this year? More than anything, it’s the depth that runs through the entire division, and some big-time additions that could help shape the landscape over the course of the regular season.

Let’s take a look at the area that is most improved for each of the four other teams in the division: