NL Central futures: Will the Brewers edge out the Reds?

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NL Central futures: Will the Brewers edge out the Reds?

When you look around baseball, perhaps no divisional race is as exciting as the National League Central. Realistically, three teams are still in the mix, although it’s pretty much down to the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers at this point unless the Chicago Cubs decide to stand pat at the trade deadline or improve. With the second half having just begun, the Brewers are the frontrunner in the NL Central futures, but the Reds aren’t far behind them. Below, we’ll dive into the contenders and analyze if they have a shot at finishing in first place or not. 

Quick Take

  • The Brewers sit as the frontrunner in the latest NL Central futures
  • However, the Reds are right on their heels
  • Keep reading for our analysis and betting insight

Milwaukee Brewers

It’s honestly difficult to believe the Brew Crew is in top spot right now. Their offense has been rather disappointing all year long, ranking 25th in runs, 28th in hits, 26th in team average, and 28th in slugging. In other words, Milwaukee is not thriving with the bats by any means. Thankfully, the pitching staff is managing to keep them afloat with an ERA of 3.95, which ranks 10th in the Majors.

While the Brewers did lose Wade Miley to an elbow injury once again recently, Julio Teheran has stepped in and pitched well. Adrian Houser and Corbin Burnes are doing their part, too. This next three-game set to begin the week against the Reds will be absolutely massive for both teams. Milwaukee is 7-3 in their last 10 games and sits as a -161 favorite at 888sport.

Cincinnati Reds

There’s one player, in particular, responsible for helping Cincinnati turn things around and suddenly become a potential postseason ball club: Elly De La Cruz. Yes, baseball isn’t a one-man sport, but De La Cruz has truly been a difference-maker in his rookie campaign, hitting .273 with five homers, nine doubles, and three triples to go along with 17 stolen bases and 17 RBI in 40 contests. His energy is a game-changer for the Reds. 

Cincy ran off 12 wins in a row not long before the All-Star break and although they did hit a cold spell, the team appears to be back on track, winning five straight ahead of Monday’s opener against the Brewers. Sitting just a half-game behind the Brew Crew, an NL Central crown is very much possible. Cincinnati is also expected to acquire some starting pitching at the deadline, which is certainly needed. These next three matchups with Milwaukee are the final meetings of the season between the two. Needless to say, extremely important.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubbies have rather steep odds at most MLB betting sites, which honestly makes a lot of sense. Realistically, this isn’t an organization that is going to contend in the playoffs, even if they did make it. Currently six games out of first in the National League Central, Chicago has a big decision to make over the next week. Buy or sell. There are rumors Jed Hoyer could potentially move Cody Bellinger and/or Marcus Stroman, two of their best players in 2023. Winning the division isn’t a total longshot but it feels highly unlikely the Cubs can get so hot they surpass the Reds and Brewers. We’ll have a better idea of what direction Chicago plans to go in once August 1st rolls around. Either way, probably not worth putting any money down on the South Siders in the NL Central futures.