Coming into the 2017 season, the two Central divisions were widely considered baseball's least-competitive five-packs, because each had a defending pennant winner projected to continue its success. In the National League Central, most of the Chicago Cubs' core is young and in its prime. In the American League Central, the Cleveland Indians were expecting to be healthier and had added Edwin Encarnacion to solidify the middle of their lineup. But both of those teams are sitting around .500, with several surprise teams keeping pace early.
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