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Cardinals Cubs Baseball

Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant (17) is helped off the field by teammate Anthony Rizzo (44) and a trainer after getting hurt sliding into first base while teammate Jason Heyward left, looks on during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

QUESTION: Do you see a changing of the guard in the NL Central? The Cubs have about $100M tied up in players who are average or weak, and have free agency or arbitration coming for Bryant, Hamels, Baez, Schwarber, Zobrist, Rizzo, Quintana, Castellanos ... others. Yet, the Brewers and Reds have reason for optimism. Can you speculate on winning percentages of the NL Central teams from 2020-22?

COMMISH: The Cubs always seem to retool. But, ultimately they must develop pitching talent within their system. They probably will have a new manager, who is likely to be younger and the Cubs certainly have to get younger on their pitching staff. As for the rest of the division, the Reds and Pirates, despite the latter completely giving up in the last two months, have young pitching either on hand or coming. The Brewers do not seem to have the same starting pitching coming but they still will have Yelich and Hiura.

The Cardinals have young pitching here and a little more, but not a lot, coming. Yet, they still will be the team at which the others will shoot.

I'm not sure about winning percentages but, as of now, you could not pick the Cubs to win the division next year. I had forecast that no team in the Central would lose 90 this year and maybe nobody would win more than 90. I'll be just off on both. The Cardinals are likely to be the only club to surpass 90 and the Pirates will lose 90 but they've virtually had to lose every game in the second half to achieve that. Remember, they were one-half game behind the Cardinals at the All-Star break.