In recent years the National League’s Central Division has had many pundits. Some have called it the worst division in baseball. Complaints range from ‘there are too many teams’ to ‘no one spends any money on payroll.’ The Cubs actually have one of the highest payrolls in the league. But they are the Cubs and they will always stink. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season in forever. Well, the Orioles are pretty much in the same boat and they play in the glorious A.L. East, the flagship division for all national media outlets. As it turns out the lowly N.L. Central has two teams battling in the LCS while members of the A.L. East can only watch. Our friends at ‘Reviewing the Brew’ break down the Brewers and Cardinals matchup in their NLCS preview.
But the question remains- why so little love for the N.L Central? Joey Votto and Albert Pujols have combined to win the last three MVP Awards. On my ballot for this year’s award, I have five players from this division in my top ten. That doesn’t even include Starlin Castro and Andrew McCutchen. But I’ll get back to that subject in a later post. Milwaukee’s NLCS Game 1 starter, Zach Greinke, is a former Cy Young Award winner. So is St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter. John Axford tied for the league lead in saves with 46.
So don’t tell me this is the worst division in the game. What the Brewers and Cardinals have accomplished should prove otherwise. The success enjoyed by these two teams may allow both of them to continue moving forward by re-signing their high-profile first-basemen. I have a feeling that Fielder and Pujols will be back next year in Milwaukee and St. Louis respectively.