Chicago Cubs best are the best in the NL Central according to power rankings

The Cubs may not be the most feared team in the majors, or even in the National League, they are viewed as the top team in the NL Central... at least on paper.

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

As we head into the 2024 season insiders are beginning to put together all sorts of rankings. We’ve already seen MLB Pipeline rank their top 100 prospects, where the Cubs were very well represented. We’ve seen Fox Sports rank their most disappointing offseasons where, unfortunately, the Cubs were again very well-represented.

However, ESPN came out and made their first power rankings of the year as we barrel towards pitchers and catchers reporting and the Cubs are firmly in the middle of the pack at number 12

The top of the list should come as no surprise as the Dodgers, who spent a billion dollars in guaranteed contracts over the winter, came in at the number one spot. The Braves and their “record-setting lineup” showed up in second, the two Lonestar teams came in third (Houston) and fourth (Texas) and the Orioles rounded out the top five thanks to the recent acquisition of Corbin Burnes

The good news for the Cubs is that even without any notable moves this offseason (with all due respect to Shota Imanaga) they are the highest-ranked NL Central team in these power rankings. 

The rest of the division is hot on their heels with the Brewers coming in at 13, the Reds at 14, the Cardinals all the way down at 19, and the up-and-coming Pirates further down at 24. 

Based on these rankings the Cubs have the fourth strongest team in the National League according to ESPN behind only the aforementioned Dodgers and Braves as well as the Phillies (6) and Diamondbacks (9).

If the Cubs were to make any kind of splash in the next couple of weeks, even one as small as an Olympic diver would make, the Cubs could easily climb higher on this list and potentially into the top ten. If they were to sign Cody Bellinger and make a trade for a Gold Glove third baseman, they could be even higher still.

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