The Cardinals have the best chance to win the National League Central.
The recent trend among baseball media outlets has been predicting what the 2021 season will look like, with outlets ranking the St. Louis Cardinals anywhere from first to third in the National League Central. But most people around the game and inside of it believe the Cardinals are the clear favorites to win the division.
That includes FanGraphs, who believes the Cardinals have a 36.2 percent chance of making the postseason. The rest of the division, meanwhile, goes as follows: Milwaukee Brewers (35.4 percent), Chicago Cubs (21.8 percent), Cincinnati Reds (18.7 percent) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (0.4 percent).
The initial feel is that those seem relatively accurate. The Brewers have gotten better this winter, signing free-agent second baseman Kolten Wong while keeping most of their core intact. The Cubs have traded Yu Darvish and added old friend Jake Arrieta. The Reds have kept mostly the same roster, though they traded closer Raisel Iglesias. And the Pirates are, well, the Pirates. They traded most of their high-end talent and, quite honestly, a 0.4 percent chance of making the postseason seems optimistic.
But the Cardinals having the best chance at advancing to the postseason is right, especially after acquiring Nolan Arenado. He vaulted the franchise from contender in the National League Central to in the conversation with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League pennant. And with the re-signings of in-house free agents Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, they have narrowed the gap on both franchises.
Of course, season’s are not determined on paper. That is why the games are played. But it is increasingly clear that the Cardinals have the best shot at winning the Central out of any other team in the division.