RNR 24 - PPV Replay Available to Order Until May 5thBUY HERE

30 Teams In 30 Days: The Chicago Cubs Are The Best Team In The NL Central

The collapse that Chicago had down the stretch last year felt very much like a pre-2016 Cubs team. They were a better team and a better roster than the Miami Marlins, yet the Marlins made it to October over them. I wouldn't be surprised if this Cubs team comes into 2024 pretty hungry, hoping to get that bad taste out of their mouth. Like I said in the video, I like their lineup, and it was necessary that they bring back Cody Bellinger. I think that's a move that will work out for both sides. Justin Steele proved himself to be a legit ace in Chicago last year. I like the addition of Shota Imanaga from Japan; they'll be on that. I'm not super crazy about the rest of their rotation. 

I don't know how much of last year's late-season collapse you could put on manager David Ross, but at the same time, the Cubs got themselves a clear upgrade in the managerial department with Craig Counsell. Not only do you add him to your dugout, but you take him away from a divisional rival in the Milwaukee Brewers. The X factor here will be the rookies. It looks like the Cubs are going to have a pair of youngsters in their lineup at the beginning of the season with Pete Crow-Armstrong, who had a cup of coffee for Chicago last year but remains the number one prospect and has been for a while. You also have Michael Busch, who can potentially be a DH or play first. Going back to his time in which he was second in command under Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer has always had a good eye for talent, and the Cubs have consistently done a good job in their player development department over the last decade plus. If those guys can come along quickly, this lineup will be much deeper and scarier. 

I think this is the best team in the National League Central. It's probably the most complete roster, but I don't know if I can necessarily call it a great roster. We'll see if Tom Ricketts will ever pony up, but it seems to me they're one big splash in free agency away from really putting themselves in World Series contention. They should still have a pretty solid squad this year.