The Duel

Cubs and Cardinals Sit as Co-Favorites to Win NL Central on Would-Be Opening Day

Jason Schandl
The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are co-favorites to win the NL Central in 2020.
The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are co-favorites to win the NL Central in 2020. / Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

This is a tough day for MLB fans. Thursday, March 26 was originally scheduled to be Opening Day for the 2020 season before the league year was pushed back as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fans of the NL Central's top teams are likely especially anxious for the season to get started, as this projects to be one of the closest divisions in baseball. In fact, there is not a single favorite to win the NL Central in 2020, with FanDuel Sportsbook giving the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals the same odds (+220).

This is shaping up as something of a make-or-break season for the Cubs. They're still poised to compete in 2020, but they have a lot of contracts expiring soon, and if things go south early in the year they may blow it up to get a jump-start on a rebuild.

With both a loaded lineup and outstanding pitching rotation, the Cubs are going to be a tough out for anyone in 2020.

The Cardinals, however, despite having the same odds to win the division as the Cubs, have better odds to win the World Series (+2300 vs. +2800).

The Cards got the better of the Cubs in 2019, going 10-9 in the season series, and they'll be looking to build on that success in the year ahead.

St. Louis doesn't bring the same kind of star power as the Cubs, but with Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong at the center of the lineup, and with Jack Flaherty looking like one of the MLB's premier aces, they should be in for a big year.

Behind the two favorites, the Cincinnati Reds (+270) and Milwaukee Brewers (+340) are still very real contenders. The Pittsburgh Pirates (+7000) are not.

There's still time for these odds to shift before we get to the real Opening Day, but this is shaping up to be the MLB's most exciting division in 2020.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.