When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Image for Jay Sanin Jay Sanin - Updated May 26, 2023

NL Central Winner Odds, Predictions & Picks 2023

The National League Central was a competitive division in 2022, with the St. Louis Cardinals pulling away from the Milwaukee Brewers to finish on top of it. This year, the Brewers and Cardinals are poised to do battle again for the NL Central title, with the Chicago Cubs hoping to work their way into the race as well.

Here, we will keep you posted on the latest happenings in the battle for the NL Central title, updating the odds to win this division on a weekly basis. Be sure to grab a sign up bonus from one of the top MLB sportsbooks and check back here every week to find out where each team stands.

Check Out Other MLB Division Futures

NL Central Winner Odds 

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

TeamOdds to win NL Central
Milwaukee Brewers-145
St. Louis Cardinals+220
Chicago Cubs+800
Pittsburgh Pirates+1200
Cincinnati Reds


NL Central Winner Pick - Milwaukee Brewers (-145)

The Milwaukee Brewers have finally overtaken the Pittsburgh Pirates at the top of the NL Central, and they should remain at the top of the division for the remainder of the season. While Milwaukee has yet to play their best baseball yet this season, the rest of this division has struggled mightily over the first two months.

We took the Brewers to win this division before the season at plus money, and are happy to take them at this price as well. Should the Pirates and Cubs come back to Earth by the All-Star break, the Brewers’ superiority over the St. Louis Cardinals thus far will be a huge difference maker in their favor.

NL Central Winner Odds

Milwaukee Brewers (-145 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

After trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first six weeks of the MLB season, the Milwaukee Brewers have finally jumped to the top of the NL Central. A recent slide by the Pirates opened the door for the Brewers to take the top spot in this division. So far, Milwaukee has taken advantage of that opportunity, and they will need to keep winning to maximize their chances of winning the Central.

Interestingly enough, the Brewers have a negative run differential at this stage of the season, while the next three teams behind them in the NL Central standings all have positive run differentials. But it does not matter how much you win games by in baseball, just that you win enough games to be at the top of the standings. So far, the Brewers have done a better job of that than any team in their division.

St. Louis Cardinals (+220 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

The St. Louis Cardinals were favored to win the NL Central before the start of the season, but a less-than-stellar start has moved them behind the Milwaukee Brewers in this year’s NL Central futures odds. The Cardinals are no longer in last place in this division, but they still have plenty of work to do if they are going to get back above .500 and become a real threat to the Brewers at the top of the standings.

St. Louis has been the best-hitting team in the NL Central, ranking first in this division in runs scored by a rather wide margin. But their pitching has been suspect throughout the year, with all of their main starting rotation members posting ERAs over 4.00 on the season. That will need to change if the Cardinals are going to win this division later in the year.

Chicago Cubs (+800 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

There is a slight gap between the first-place Brewers and third-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central standings. That gap is growing, as a recent losing streak for the Cubs has dropped them below .500 and well behind the Brewers at the top of this division race. Chicago has the best run differential in the NL Central, but that has not translated to success in the win column just yet.

Chicago’s struggles on the road are the reason that they have not been able to keep up in this division. The Cubs are right around .500 at home, but their road record is what has kept them below .500 overall. It will be interesting to see if they can develop some level of consistency in games that Justin Steele is not starting to help them move back up the NL Central standings.

Pittsburgh Pirates (+1200 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

The Pittsburgh Pirates spent some time in first place in the NL Central, thanks to a hot start that drew plenty of attention over the first few weeks of the season. But they have dropped into second place, as their strong start appears to have fizzled out. Now the Pirates face a telling test going forward, as their response to the adversity of dropping out of first place will determine how the rest of the season goes.

Surprisingly, the Pirates have been the best pitching team in the NL Central so far in 2023, allowing the fewest runs in the division. But they have also scored the fewest runs in the NL Central as well. Their lack of offense will be costly in the long run unless the Pirates find a spark in their lineup sooner rather than later.

Cincinnati Reds (+6000 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

It would take nothing short of a miracle for the Cincinnati Reds to win the NL Central in 2023. They, like the Pirates, lost 100 games last season and could be on track to do so again over the course of this year. Cincinnati has fallen into last place in the NL Central, and they are likely to remain there for the rest of the year, though the gap between the Reds and the first-place Brewers is still within single digits.

Cincinnati is another team for which road games have been their downfall so far in 2023. The Reds are a .500 ballclub at home, but they have failed to win a third of their games outside of Cincinnati. With that said, only being a handful of games out of first place this late in the season can be chalked up as a win for this team.

How to Place a Futures Bet on the NL Central Division

Futures bets are wagers on a team to win a championship or division title, in this case the NL Central championship. Betting on NL Central futures is an easy process, as bettors can login to their preferred sportsbook, go to the MLB Team Futures section, and pick the team they think will win this division.

Best MLB Betting Sites

Logo #2



Up To $1,250 On Caesars

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Logo #3



$1,000 First Bet Offer

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Logo #4



Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets Instantly!

21+ | T&Cs apply

Logo #5



$500 Free Bet

21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500

NL Central Division Winner FAQ

What Team Is Favored to Win the NL Central?

The Milwaukee Brewers are currently favored to win the NL Central, with the St. Louis Cardinals second and Chicago Cubs third on the list of division favorites.

Who Won the NL Central Last Year?

In 2022, the St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Central by seven games over the Milwaukee Brewers.

When Is the NL Central Winner Decided?

The NL Central winner will be decided when the team in first place cannot mathematically be caught by the rest of the teams in the division, which can happen anytime from the summer to September.

Which Team Won the NL Central the Most?

The St. Louis Cardinals have won the NL Central the most often, winning the division 12 times entering the 2023 season.

Latest MLB Articles

View More
Best NRFI Bets Today, May 30


Best NRFI Bets Today, May 30

MLB | 6 hours ago | Jay Sanin

Best MLB Bets Today | MLB Picks, May 30


Best MLB Bets Today | MLB Picks, May 30

MLB | 6 hours ago | Jay Sanin

Bet $20 Win $200 in Free Bets

21+ CO, VA, MI Only | Terms and conditions apply

Claim Now
Image for Jay Sanin


Jay Sanin

13 Articles

Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.

More info on Jay Sanin
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. If you feel like you're losing control over your gambling experience, call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA, WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-522-4700 (NV), 1-800-522-4700 (CO, TN), 1-855-2CALLGA (IL), 1-800-270-7117 (MI).

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.