TeeCoZee’s NL Central Preview 2022
I figured it was best to get this over with sooner rather than later. There is no division in baseball, maybe even in professional sports, that is more boring than the NL Central. Don’t @ me. When Central teams are good, they play steak and potatoes baseball. When they’re bad, they’re downright unwatchable. They are a vacuum of charisma and excitement. Christian Yelich could bat .459 next season and nobody would notice. And the division is closely contended every year, which is the equivalent of watching distant relatives bicker on Thanksgiving. Yeah, it’s competitive baseball, but does it really matter? Regardless, I’m going to try my hardest to make the NL Central stomach-able for you. You’re welcome.
What’s New: Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroe, probably some pitcher that will be awesome
What’s Gone: Jackie Bradley Jr, Keon Broxton, Daniel Vogelbach
Coze’s Prediction: 91-71
It seems like the proverbial clock is ticking for the Brewers. The small market team has been in contention for the better half of a decade and still no pennant. But yet, the team never seems to be in a hurry to win now. I’ve never seen a front office more relaxed and trustworthy of their guys. And no matter who they have, no matter who is hurt, they’ll just keep winning games automatically. Mainly because they keep picking these elite pitchers out of the trash and making them stars. Touché.
St Louis Cardinals
What’s New: Steven Matz, Corey Dickerson, Zach McAllister
What’s Gone: Carlos Martinez, Matt Carpenter, Andrew Miller, JA Happ, Jon Lester
Coze’s Prediction : 88-74
I read a striking comment on Reddit, of all places. They said that every year, the Cardinals are made in a lab, designed to win 88 games no matter what. I’m starting to believe that. In my time of watching baseball, I have not seen a franchise so unremarkable, yet so dominant, but never dominant enough. No matter who they have, no matter whether or not the Cubs are good, the Cardinals will win around 88 games. Whether it’s good enough for the postseason is up to fate.
What’s New: Marcus Stroman, Yan Gomes, Wade Miley, Drew Smiley, probably some other guy that was good in 2014
What’s Gone: Zach Davies, 3 scrub catchers, Matt Duffy, excitement
Coze’s Prediction: 78-84
The Cubs made headlines when they gave Marcus Stroman a payday to the tune of $71 Million over 3 years. And they did nothing else after that. Making this high-yielding short term move would make sense if this team was built to win. But if you haven’t been paying attention, the entire franchise has been slowly dismantling since their World Series win, which was surprisingly 6 years ago. There’s almost nobody left from that team and it shows.
What’s New: Not much, what’s new with you?
What’s Gone: Basically the entire team
Coze’s Prediction: 70-90
A regular customer is a huge Reds fan. While two years ago, baseball was a popular topic, it became less and less the case. But he never gave up hope and spent all of lockout dreaming up what the Reds can do to get back into contention. I saw him right after it ended and we celebrated. Within two days, the whole team was traded. He doesn’t talk much anymore.
What’s New: Jose Quintana, Daniel Vogelbach lol
What’s Gone: Nobody that’ll be missed
Coze’s Prediction: 65-97
Just like the Orioles, the Pirates are that special kind of team that has nothing to lose. Just like the Orioles, they will be instrumental in spoiling the hopes and dreams of unsuspecting good teams. And just like the Orioles, the have a magnificent stadium that you should really visit sometime. The structure takes your breath away because the team won’t. They are the Orioles.