Baseball's NL Central wasn’t as strong as predicted

Remember when the majority of national sports pundits predicted the National League Central Division would be the best division in Major League Baseball?
That was way back in the winter months of 2020 spring training. Who would have ever guessed COVID-19 would delay the opening of the season, eventually leading to a truncated 60-game schedule rather than the traditional 162-game format.
For the record, the Chicago Cubs won the NL Central with a 34-26 record, despite jumping to a 13-3 start. The St. Louis Cardinals, plagued by several players sidelined with the coronavirus in the first week and forced to make up several games with doubleheaders, finished in second place with a 30-28 mark.
The Cincinnati Reds, expected to be the 2020 NL Central’s surprise story, finished third with a 31-29 mark.
And, then there’s the Milwaukee Brewers. Despite a season-ending loss to the Cards, they sneaked into the postseason with the eighth and final seed and a lousy 29-31 mark.
Just imagine. Four of the five NL Central ball clubs composed half of the eight teams qualifying for the best 2-of 3 NL Wild-Card Playoffs.
Quite an achievement, huh? The pundits were right on. Well, not really.
Here’s how the four teams fared this past week:
* The third-seeded Cubs were eliminated by the sixth-seeded Miami Marlins, in two games.
* The No. 5 Cardinals put up the longest battle, but still lost to the No. 4 San Diego Padres in three games.
* The seventh-seeded Reds were eliminated by the second-seeded Atlanta Braves in two straight games.
* The anemic offensive Brewers looked pathetic once again, losing to the top-seeded LA Dodgers in two games.
Now, you tell me. Is the NL Central Division really that strong? Most important... what does the future look like?
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