FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The team that finished last in the NL Central in 2018 might have one of the deeper lineups in the division, the best closer and perhaps the best bullpen. The fourth-place finisher might have the best starting rotation in the group. The best offseason improvements may have been made by the club that finished third.
It's true that the best of the NL East teams have spent the winter working to top each other, from the Atlanta Braves' addition of Josh Donaldson, to the New York Mets' megadeal for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, to the Washington Nationals' run prevention push with Patrick Corbin and vastly improved defense, to the Philadelphia Phillies' nearly half-billion-dollar splurge in roster upgrades.
But the NL Central is baseball's best division because there aren't any gimmes -- no clubs rebuilding or tanking, every team seemingly capable of winning half their games, or better. If you rank the divisions by overall strength, it might look something like this: