2017 MLB Picks – National League Central Division Odds & NL Central Expert Picks: The 2017 MLB Baseball season begins next week and the odds to win the 2017 MLB National League Central Division are available for online betting at Bovada Sportsbook. Bovada’s odds makers have made the defending World Champion Chicago Cubs the strong -500 favorites to repeat as NL Central Division Champs this season. The Cubs are followed by the St Louis Cardinals at +550 odds, Pittsburgh Pirates at +850 odds, Cincinnati Reds at +3300 odds and Milwaukee Brewers at +3300 odds. Read below to see what order our MLB expert handicapper, Sonny LaFouchi(aka The Legend), sees the NL Central Division shaking down this 2017 MLB season. Be sure and visit NSAwins.com all season long for the best 2017 MLB Baseball picks and daily LIVE 2017 MLB Odds.
2017 MLB Picks – National League Central Division Odds & NL Central Expert Picks
1. Chicago Cubs(103-58 last season, 100-62 prediction for 2017) – The Chicago Cubs finally broke the curse and delivered a World Series Championship to the long suffering Cubs fans last fall with a sensational 3-1 series comeback against the Cleveland Indians in the Fall Classic. It appears that manager Joe Maddon has all the pieces he needs again this season to give the Cubs back-to-back World Series Championships if they can stay healthy. The Cubs are loaded in every facet of the game led by a sensational frontline pitching staff full of work horses in Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey. The Cubs bullpen is also one of the best in the game and the everyday lineup is arguably the best in the majors led by sluggers Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.
2. St Louis Cardinals(86-76 last season, 95-67 prediction for 2017) – The St Louis Cardinals had their streak of three straight NL Central Division titles snapped last season as they finished a whopping 17 games behind the Cubs to end up 2nd in the NL Central. The Cardinals are in position to be much improved and give the Cubs a run for their money in the NL Central this season with some nice offseason additions. The Cardinals pitching staff should be improved as we look for ace Adam Wainright to bounce back big from a medicore season last year and that should give the Cardinals a dynamic 1-2 punch atop the rotation along with Carlos Martinez. The bats should once again be among the best in the bigs as they finished 4th in runs last year and added outfielder Dexter Fowler from the Cubs to help compensate for the loss of outfielder Matt Holiday. We look for the Cardinals to be much improved this season and back in the playoffs.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates(78-83 last season, 88-74 prediction for 2017) – Last season was a big disappointment for the Pirates as they finished under .500 after winning 98, 88 and 94 games in the three prior seasons finishing in 2nd place in the NL Central each season. The Pirates look to bounce back this season as star outfielder Andrew McCutchen(.256, 24 HR, 79 RBI last season) looks to be healthier and should have a much more productive season this year hitting in the three hole of the lineup. The Pirates offense was very mediocre last year finishing 13th in the majors in runs scored and that wasn’t enough to compensate for a pitching staff that had the 18th ERA in the majors last year as a unit. The staff should be improved with youngsters Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon looking to continue to improve to go along with ace Gerrit Cole(7-10, 3.88 ERA last season).
4. Milwaukee Brewers(73-89 last season, 71-91 prediction for 2017) – The Milwaukee Brewers have been one of the worst teams in all of baseball the last two season and they should be once again this season. The Brewers only won 73 games last year after winning just 68 in 2015 and we figure they will win in between those numbers this year with another lackluster roster short on pitching and bats. The Brewers offense was terrible last season finishing 25th in the league in runs scored and 27th in batting average. It’s hard to see how they will be improved this season with mostly the same set of characters returning plus the addition of ham and egger infielder Travis Shaw(.242, 16 HR, 71 RBI last season). The pitching staff is a cast of youngsters and ham and eggers that aren’t good enough to win many games. It will be another brutally long season for the fans of the Brewers in 2017.
5. Cincinnati Reds(68-94 last season, 68-94 prediction for 2017) – Once one of the game’s best franchises and most proud organizations, the Cincinnati Reds are simply a shell of their former selves. The Reds are arguably the worst team in all of baseball and they certainly have made a good run at that title the last two seasons as they won just 68 games last year after winning just 64 in 2015. The Reds look to be the favorites to finish in the basement of the NL Central Division for the 3rd straight season this year. The Reds are trying to improve with a blend of young prospects and journeymen MLB players that haven’t accomplished much at all. The two bright spots in the everyday lineup are sluggers Joey Votto(.326, 29 HR, 97 RBI) and Adam Duvall(.241, 33 HR, 103 RBI) and they are about the only two reasons to tune in and watch this sad outfit play every night. The pitching staff is a joke as it finished 28th in ERA last season and should be just as bad again this season.
Odds to Win 2017 National League Central Division
Chicago Cubs -500
St. Louis Cardinals +550
Pittsburgh Pirates +850
Cincinnati Reds +3300
Milwaukee Brewers +3300
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