The Cincinnati Reds are the favorites to win the National League Central in the 2021 season as things sit right now. At least that’s what BetOnline.ag has the odds at today. As I type this, the Reds are the favorites at 9/4, with the St. Louis Cardinals right behind them at 5/2. The Chicago Cubs are next at 11/4, with Milwaukee at 13/4. And then there’s the Pirates at 33/1 hanging out by themselves at the very bottom of the division using some binoculars to try and see the rest of the division.
The differences between the Reds at the top and the Brewers in fourth place is rather small when it comes to the separation. If you are rooting for any of the top four teams in the division, and things are as close as everyone seems to believe, you are probably rather frustrated with how your team has been acting this offseason. No single team has signed a player to a contract for a TOTAL of $1M this offseason from the National League Central. Several teams have actively gotten worse via trade, and that ignores losing players in free agency, too.
Free agency has been as slow as – wait, what’s slower than molasses? But ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel thinks that we’re getting close to the point where we might start seeing some significant signings happen. Whether that extends to the National League Central or not is another story. Most of the division hasn’t really been linked to many free agents, with the Reds being involved in some of the shortstop market being perhaps the biggest link from the central.
If and when teams within the division start to make free agent signings, or perhaps more trades (either to improve their team, or, uh, the opposite of that), the odds will change. Right now, though, teams aren’t doing much and that leaves the division wide open for the taking if anyone cares to take it. The odds are going to change when moves are made, especially if the moves are bigger ones. Cincinnati’s been involved in more than a few trade rumors, but nothing has happened outside of the Raisel Iglesias trade – which surprisingly was never rumored anywhere.