Wrapping Up Our Previews

Over this past week the staff here at Blog Red Machine has been presenting you with our take of how the NL Central could shake out during the upcoming season. Today, we’ll put a bow on our previews.

Of course, you might be saying to yourself “Where’s the Reds preview?”. Patience, young grasshopper. We will beginning our full out Reds preview next Monday, February 28th.

Let’s take a second to review what you’ve “learned” from us this past week about the other teams within the division…


Alex feel the Cubs are decent, but not as complete as Cincy, St. Louis or Milwaukee. Justin thinks Carlos Zambrano‘s season will greatly determine the Cubs season. John also looks at Zambrano to launch some equipment onto the field at least once. I think the Cubs could be a dangerous team and are lying somewhat under the radar in 2011. Sound familiar?


John and I are split on the Astros offense. John likes it. Me, not so much. We also differ on the starting staff. John doesn’t particularly see them doing well where I think they could be on that line between decent and good. Alex sees Houston as a team with a nice core of younger players, but lack consistency. Justin says to keep an eye on Brett Myers. He could post another good year for the Astros.


The one point I didn’t agree with the others on was Zack Greinke. I also know that I’m in a small minority on that point, too. Justin believes Greinke will return to is ’09 form when he won the AL Cy Young, but he wasn’t a fan of what the Brewers sent to KC in the deal. Or for that matter, sending Brett Lawrie to Toronto for Shaun Marcum. John and I both strongly feel this offense is as good as any in baseball. Alex likes the acquisitions of Greinke and Marcum, but sees shortstop and center field as holes.


I don’t think anyone is sold on the starting staff. We all like the offensive pieces in Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, and in particular, Andrew McCutchen. Alex does see them as a streaky team at best. John believes they may have enough offense to get out of the NL Central cellar. Justin says to watch Walker. That’s due getting thrashed in fantasy baseball. Me? Like the young bats. Not wild about the starters. Like the back end of the pen.

St. Louis:

Of course Justin’s going to say watch Pujols. Who else could you watch on the Cards? To me, that other person could be David Freese who returned from injury to reclaim his starting third base job. If he’s 100%, the Cards are legit as after he went down in 2010, the Cards could not replace him. Alex takes the stance that the Cards regressed from a defensive standpoint in trading Brendan Ryan and singing Lance Berkman to play right field. That’s one reason he sees the Cardinals taking a step back in 2011. I agree with the defense maybe being not as tight (in right, not so much at short…seriously), but I also think you can never sell this team short. Bad move if you do.

OK. Here it is. Our predictions for how the NL Central will look like on the last day of the season. Hold your breath…

As I said earlier, our Reds preview starts next Moday. Until then, here’s just a bit of what you can expect…

The Reds will be out to prove that 2010 was no fluke, and they have the talent to do so.

While there are a few questions in the lineup from top to bottom, no team in the Central is as consistent from a pitching, defense and hitting perspective.

In the wake of signing a shiny new 6-year $51 million contract as well as his .281/25 HR/ 81 RBI 2010 season, Jay Bruce is looking to be on the rise.

The main point people make about this team is the starting rotation.

I know. It’s almost not right to do that.