2024 Division Outlook: NL Central

One league and three divisions down, one league and three more divisions to go. The 2024 MLB Season is right around the corner, and it's time to preview and highlight the five squads that make up the National League Central, a division that looks to be up for grabs in 2024.

St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages
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Milwaukee Brewers

Christian Yelich
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Key Additions
- 1B Rhys Hoskins
- RHP Brandon Woodruff
- C Gary Sanchez
- RHP Jakob Junis
- LHP DL Hall
- SS Joey Ortiz
- RHP Joe Ross

Key Loses
- RHP Corbin Burnes
- 1B Rowdy Tellez
- RHP Adrian Houser
- 3B Josh Donaldson
- 1B Carlos Santana
- OF Mark Canha
- OF Tyrone Taylor
- LHP Andrew Chafin

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I am not high on the Brew Crew at all heading into 2024. To begin, they lost David Stearns to the Mets and Craig Counsell to the aforementioned Cubs. Former bench coach Pat Murphy will take over this year, hoping to cultivate some success with a roster that leaves a lot to be desired.

Offensively, the Brewers have always been a boom or bust lineup in a sense, with a lot of their success driven through the long ball. While good enough for the regular season, the Brewers faithful watched their lineup fault over and over again in the postseason, and now that lineup looks to be bare. Albeit still productive, former MVP Christian Yelich hasn't been the same since a knee injury at the end of the 2019 season. Willy Adames has been a consistent power source for the Brew Crew since his acquisition in 2021, and William Contreras established himself as an elite catcher last season. They also added Rhys Hoskins, who's coming off a torn ACL that took his 2023 season, and Gary Sanchez this offseason, two major potential power sources. Where a lot of the Brewers offensive potential lies is in their young talent, as their projected lineup includes four hitters with less than a year of time in the majors. Those four hitters are Sal Frelick, Brice Turang, Joey Ortiz, and Jackson Chourio, with Chourio coming into 2024 ranked the number 2 prospect in baseball. If those four young guys can hit and add depth to the Milwaukee lineup, then the Brew Crew can creep their way back into relevancy sooner than you may think.

The Brewers have been known for their pitching lab for the last half-decade or so, and that lab will have some work to do with a mostly new group of pitchers. The Brewers boasted a three headed monster in recent years that comprised of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. After the blockbuster that sent Burnes to Baltimore and Woodruff being ruled out for the year with an injury, only Peralta remains in the 2024 rotation. He will be joined by veterans Colin Rea, Jakob Junis, and Joe Ross, who the Brewers hope to get the most out of. DL Hall, one of the centerpieces of the Burnes trade, will be an interesting arm to keep an eye on. The talent is there for the young man, but walk and health issues in Baltimore led to him being a reliever in his short time in the major leagues. Hall hopes to be a staple southpaw in Milwaukee's rotation for the future, and the Brewers are a team that can make that work. Milwaukee's pitching will definitely take a sharp decline in 2024, and we'll have to see if it is too much for the offense to overcome.

Over the last six or seven seasons, Milwaukee has been a team that is routinely in the postseason, but that consistency is in question this year. They do live in a division that looks to be up for grabs, but the question remains of if Milwaukee has the talent to get that done this year.

Team MVP: William Contreras

Team Cy Young: Freddy Peralta

Team X-Factor: The young hitters

The Nationals will visit the Brew Crew for three games from July 12-14, and host them for three games from August 2-4.