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NL Central Betting Odds / Preview

2009 NL Central Odds – Could it be the Cubbies Year

Okay BetUS MLB online betting fanatics, after nailing a whopping 60 percent of my MLB free picks in 2008, your handicapping guru, Eric Williams is getting prepared to set the BetUS Sportsbook on fire with another amazing run all the way to the 2009 World Series.

This look at the 2009 National League Central MLB Odds, followed by my brief analysis and division winner prediction should give BetUS MLB baseball betting buffs everywhere a good sense of which team or teams are not only capable of winning the NL Central, but also contending for the 2009 MLB World Series title.

Chicago Cubs -160
Cincinnati Reds +600
Houston Astros +15000
Milwaukee Brewers +500
Pittsburgh Pirates +3000
St Louis Cardinals +600

Chicago Cubs

Offseason Additions – C Paul Bako, OF Milton Bradley, OF Joey Gathright, RHP Kevin Gregg, RHP Aaron Heilman, INF Aaron Miles, RHP Garrett Olson, RHP Jeff Stevens, OF So Taguchi and RHP Luis Vizcaino.

Offseason Departures – C Henry Blanco, INF Ronny Cedeno, INF Mark DeRosa, OF Jim Edmonds, LHP Rich Hill, RHP Bobby Howry, RHP Jason Marquis, OF Felix Pie, INF-OF Daryle Ward, RHP Kerry Wood and RHP Michael Wuertz.

Analysis: Besides the fact that the Cubs have yet to figure out who their closer will be, I’m think they are pretty loaded and could go a very long way – if they can avoid the ‘choke pill’ they’ve taken in each of the last two postseasons.

Cincinnati Reds

Offseason Additions – C Humberto Cota, OF Jonny Gomes, C Ramon Hernandez, OF Jacque Jones, LHP Arthur Rhodes, CF Willy Taveras and 1B-OF Daryle Ward.

Offseason Departures – LHP Jeremy Affeldt, C Paul Bako, RHP Matt Belisle, RHP Josh Fogg, OF Ryan Freel, RHP Gary Majewski, LHP Kent Mercker, OF Corey Patterson, INF Andy Phillips and C Javier Valentin.

Analysis: Ho-hum. Another offseason in Cincinnati means another year they’ve failed to really upgrade their ballclub. This team has ‘mediocrity’ written all over it – again.

Houston Astros

Offseason Additions – 3B Aaron Boone, C Toby Hall, LHP Mike Hampton, OF Jason Michaels, RHP Russ Ortiz.

Offseason Departures – C Brad Ausmus, INF Mark Loretta, 3B Ty Wigginton and LHP Randy Wolf.

Analysis – Let’s see, how many quality starters do the Astros have not named Roy Oswalt? Don’t get me wrong, I like Wandy Rodriguez and Brian Moehler, but let’s be honest. Neither is the second coming of Sandy Koufax – or even Oswalt for that matter.

Milwaukee Brewers

Offseason Additions – OF Chris Duffy, RHP Trevor Hoffman, RHP Jorge Julio, 3B Casey McGehee, RHP Eduardo Morlan, OF Trot Nixon and LHP R.J. Swindle.

Offseason Departures – 3B Russell Branyan, 2B Craig Counsell, 2B Ray Durham, RHP Eric Gagne, OF Gabe Kapler, RHP Guillermo Mota, LHP C.C. Sabathia, RHP Ben Sheets, LHP Brian Shouse and RHP Salomon Torres.

Analysis – I’ll be totally honest about it and say that, this ballclub is very pitching deficient – and everyone knows good pitching beats good hitting. New manager Ken Macha had better have a season-long supply of Excedrin headache medicine ready.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Offseason Additions – INF/OF Eric Hinske, C Jason Jaramillo, OF Craig Monroe, INF Andy Phillips, RHP Virgil Vasquez, INF Ramon Vazquez and LHP Donnie Veal.

Offseason Departures – INF Chris Gomez, OF Jason Michaels, 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, C Ronny Paulino, INF Luis Rivas and RHP John Van Benschoten.

Analysis – The 2009 Pirates will likely be a big league version of the Bad News Bears. There’s not a lot of real competent hitters and even less competent pitchers on this ballclub. LHP Paul Maholm and RHP Ian Snell will need to start every other day in order for the beleaguered Pirates to even have a chance at reaching .500.

St. Louis Cardinals

Offseason Additions: SS Khalil Greene, LHP Royce Ring, LHP Charlie Manning and LHP Trever Miller. 

Offseason Departures: LHP Randy Flores, RHP Jason Isringhausen, SS Cesar Izturis, LHP Tyler Johnson, RHP Braden Looper, INF Felipe Lopez, INF Aaron Miles, LHP Mark Mulder, RHP Russ Springer and LHP Ron Villone.

Analysis – The Cardinals failed to upgrade their bullpen and could really use another top-notch starter or two. Still, I never count out Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols.

Division Analysis: This division race is one of the easiest in all of baseball to predict. Chicago will win with room to spare while the Cards take second The Astros and the Brewers will battle for third place while the Pirates and Reds will hope to avoid being cellar dwellers.

The Winner: Chicago Cubs

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