The NL Central remains one of the weakest divisions in baseball, featuring two rebuilding teams that will struggle to win 70 games in the Reds and Pirates.
The Cardinals remain as the favorites in the division, but we can’t rule out the Brewers, who still have a terrific pitching staff. The Cubs are also trending upward following their offseason moves.
Let’s look at current betting odds to determine the best bet to win the 2023 NL Central division.
NL Central Betting Odds 2023
To see the most up-to-date NL Central odds from our favorite sportsbooks, adjust the module below and select MLB - National League Central - Winner:
2023 NL Central MLB betting odds as of Tuesday, Mar. 7, at 1 p.m. ET on Caesars Sportsbook.
- St. Louis Cardinals (-130)
- Milwaukee Brewers (+170)
- Chicago Cubs (+600)
- Cincinnati Reds (+6500)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+9000)
The Cardinals sit atop the NL Central in odds because they’re the most well-rounded team in the division. The Brewers are right at their heels, boasting the superior rotation that includes aces Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff.
It feels like the Cubs are trying to push for the playoffs, making a splash in free agency by signing shortstop Dansby Swanson.
The Reds and Pirates are simply playing out the year, looking for their young talent to develop while hoping to recoup some assets for their veteran players at the trade deadline.
NL Central Best Bet 2023
Cardinals Win NL Central (-130) | Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
The Cardinals finished with a 114 wRC+ (5th) last season, led by stellar performances from Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. The offense can be even better this year with the arrival of elite prospect Jordan Walker and the addition of stud catcher Willson Contreras.
The starting rotation doesn’t have your prototypical ace, but there are a few solid arms like Jordan Montgomery and Miles Mikolas. If Jack Flaherty can rediscover his previous form or if Steven Matz can stay healthy, you have the makings of a strong group.
The bullpen is anchored by elite closer Ryan Helsley, who has some of the best stuff in baseball. He’s joined by other dependable arms like Giovanny Gallegos, Andre Pallante, and Jordan Hicks.
While we’re getting a bit of an expensive price at -130 odds, this number reflects the depth of this roster. They should be able to win this division once again.
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NL Central Contenders 2023
Brewers (+170) |Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
The Brewers made a couple of savvy additions to their lineup. They signed Jesse Winker, who struggled in Seattle last season, but should bounce back in more of a hitter’s park.
They also traded for William Contreras, who brings above-average power at catcher.
The team hopes to get more innings out of Freddy Peralta, who can be an elite starter when he’s on his game. That would give them an imposing trio with Burnes and Woodruff.
If Aaron Ashby (26.5% strikeout rate in 2022) can come back from injury and make an impact, you have a really strong rotation in Milwaukee.
The bullpen is in good hands with Devin Williams as the closer. He’s joined by Matt Bush, who should also be able to perform well in high-leverage situations.
Milwaukee is definitely the second-best team in this division, but they don’t have as much depth as the Cardinals. The Brewers would need some health in their starting rotation if they’re to win the NL Central.
Cubs (+600) | Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
The Cubs added Swanson (6.4 WAR in 2022) to a lineup that includes Seiya Suzuki, Nico Hoerner, and Ian Happ. They also signed Trey Mancini and Cody Bellinger, hoping for bounce-back years.
Matt Mervis is a top first-base prospect who can help them out later in the season.
Similar to the Cardinals, the Cubs don’t have a front-line starter, but their rotation can be competent with veterans like Marcus Stroman and Jameson Taillon supported by young talents like Justin Steele and Hayden Wesneski.
The bullpen remains a work in progress, but they added some intriguing arms like Michael Fulmer, Brad Boxberger, and Julian Merryweather. Keep an eye on young reliever Jeremiah Estrada, who has filthy stuff.
While it’s unlikely that the Cubs will have enough to keep up with the Cardinals, they’re worth taking a shot at the current price of +600 odds. This is an improving team that should be better than expected.