The NL Central, with three teams making the 2015 postseason, is quite possibly baseball's most stacked group of teams, especially at the top of the division. The Cardinals won the division in 2015 but didn't advance as far as the Cubs in the postseason. Also based off of how the 2016 season has started, Chicago might have surpassed St. Louis as Central Division king thanks to their plethora of young stars. Nonetheless, the Cubs still have to prove they can win consistently from year to year.
With multiple collisions between the Bucs, Cubbies and Cards down the line, the future isn't looking very bright for the remaining two teams in the division: the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds. Both the Brew Crew and the Reds suffered in 2015 and finished with under 70 wins. Though each team brings a star or two into the mix and will contend in some games throughout 2016, don't expect much out of either except a high draft selection. With three titans waging a battle at the top, Cincy or Milwaukee might both be in for some tough seasons unless they can catch a slew of sweet breaks.
It's not out of the question to expect three teams to emerge again in the 2016 playoffs. With Chicago adding slugger Jason Heyward and pitcher John Lackey, the Cardinals young pitching rotation hitting their stride and the Pirates still featuring one of the best players in baseball -- outfielder Andrew McCutchen -- expect the Central to be another shootout again in 2016.
Best National League Central Betting Lines
For the most updated wagering lines regarding any team in the NL Central, please refer to the tool below. It will layout all the different matchups for that particular day.
This tool will give you a breakdown of each team in the in the division, streamlining it all in one place for your convenience.
National League Central Standings
You can easily decipher which team is leading the division and setting the pace for the rest of the squads with the breakout tool below.
This function will easily lay out all the standings throughout the season so make sure you keep tabs regularly to be on the pulse of the NL Central division race.
Online Tips For National League Central Bettors
By the end of the 2015 season, three games separated the division-winning Cardinals from the second-place Pirates and third-place Cubs at the top of the NL Central. In the 2016 playoffs, the Cubs reversed that order by defeating Pittsburgh in the one-game Wild Card playoff and then knocked off the Cardinals in the NL Division Series.
Chicago is the odds-on favorite to not only win the NL Central but also the World Series in 2016, so it's hard not to like what the Cubbies bring to the table other than 100-plus years of bad luck. Even with the curses of Billy Goat, black cats and Steve Bartman, Chicago dominated their NL Central compatriots in 2015 to the tune of a 48-30 record.
However, one should still be warned that the Cardinals were the only team to end up with a winning record against the Cubs in their division. While both the L.A. Dodgers and lackluster Phillies ended up with a positive record against Chicago, the Cubs dominated the rest of baseball. The battles this year between the Cardinals and Chicago will be close again, but barring some catastrophic injuries, the free-agent additions of two ex-Cardinals by Chicago should push them ahead of St. Louis.
As far as the remaining teams in the division go, it might be a little more muddled. While Pittsburgh was the second-best team in 2015, they actually had a losing record against every other team in the NL Central. St. Louis, on the other hand, was the only team with a winning record against every team in the regular season. Milwaukee finished in the middle of the pack with a split winning/losing record against the other NL Central squads.
As is the case with other pages on this website, make sure to use the breakout box below to help you find the best betting fit for you and your wager.