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Thursday, March 29, 2012
Updated: March 30, 2:27 PM ET
Previewing the NL Central

By Tim Kurkjian
ESPN The Magazine

Editor's note: ESPN.com has teamed with ESPN The Magazine and the SweetSpot Blog Network to produce this year's preview capsules. Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian examined the American League and the National League, respectively. They ordered the teams based on how they think they'll finish, while also breaking down each team's best- and worst-case scenarios.

The SweetSpot bloggers provided the projected lineups, pitching rotations and bullpens, which are mostly approximations based on the latest information. In most cases, they don't include players who will open the season on the disabled list. The lineups reflect the most likely batting order against a right-handed starter and are subject to change.

Click on the links below to go directly to a capsule for each National League Central team:

Chicago Cubs | Cincinnati Reds | Houston Astros
Milwaukee Brewers | Pittsburgh Pirates | St. Louis Cardinals



Information courtesy of Fungoes

THE PICK

1st Place

Information courtesy of Redleg Nation

THE PICK

2nd Place

Information courtesy of Disciples of Uecker

THE PICK

3rd Place

Information courtesy of Pitt Plank

THE PICK

4th Place

Information courtesy of View From the Bleachers

THE PICK

5th Place

Information courtesy of Austin's Astros 290 Blog

THE PICK

6th Place