Who is the biggest threat to the Cardinals in the NL Central?

The NL Central is wide open, meaning that the Cardinals have a clear path back to contention. But it won't be easy, and these two teams are their biggest threats to return to the top of the division.

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2. Cincinnati Reds

As previously mentioned, the Reds have had a fairly good offseason for the first time in a while. Nick Martinez and Frankie Montas are their two biggest additions, but they also brought in Brent Suter and Jeimer Candelario.

After a surprising 82-80 finish, the Reds are looking like a team that is close to contending again. Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, Elly De La Cruz, and other young stars should help them take that next step.

On the pitching side, they have Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Andrew Abbott, and Alexis Diaz.

Because the division is so wide open, I could see the Reds potentially taking the top spot if all goes according to plan for them, especially if the Cardinals fall apart again. They definitely have taken some very important steps towards respectability.

The future is bright for this young core of stars.

Last year, they took advantage of the struggling Cardinals. While the Cardinals still won the season series by going 7-6 against Cincy, the Reds played them tough and ultimately won 82 games.

For the Reds to threaten the Cardinals again and contend, they'll need their young pitchers to take the next step, which could help them form a truly scary starting rotation with a couple of young fireballers at the top.

Still, they probably aren't the biggest threat to the Cardinals, which leads us to the next slide.