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The Question: Who will win the NL Central?

At 48-30 (.615 winning percentage), the Pirates and the Cardinals sit atop the NL Central and tied for the best record in baseball. Cincinnati is just 3.5 games back at 45-34.

The Bucs have swept their last six games and entered Friday leading the Majors in ERA, but memories of their second-half swoon from a year ago still linger. St. Louis, on the other hand, has lost five of six but leads the NL in runs scored and boasts a roster chock full with stretch-run experience. The Reds are deep and balanced, ranking third in the Senior Circuit in runs scored and fourth in runs prevented.

There's still plenty of baseball to be played, but it's not too early to ask: Who will win the NL Central?