Darren from Extra Base Hit keeps you in the NL Central loop, covering the details from soup to nuts.

Milwaukee Brewers

2011 record: 96-66; 1st in NL Central
Manager: Ron Roenicke
General Manager: Doug Melvin
2012 estimated Payroll: $116 million
Odds to win the division: 2-1
Odds to win the National League: 15-1
Odds to win the World Series: 30/1
Over / Under total for wins in 2012: 84.5
Highest Paid Player: Zack Greinke $13.5 million
Key 2013 free agents: P Zack Greinke, P Shaun Marcum
Highest projected 2012 fWAR: Ryan Braun 5.6
Canadians in camp: P John Axford, 3B Taylor Green, C George Kottaras, OF Brock Kjeldgaard
Division Crowns since 1995: 1

Welcome aboard: 3B Aramis Ramirez, SS Alex Gonzalez, OF Norichika Aoki, RHP Jose Veras.

Thanks for the memories: 1B Prince Fielder, INF Craig Counsell, INF Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B Casey McGehee, SS Yuniesky Betancourt, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Takashi Saito.

St. Louis Cardinals

2011 record: 90-72; 2nd in NL Central (Wild Card winner)
Manager: Mike Matheny
General Manager: John Mozeliak
2012 estimated Payroll: 119.4 million
Odds to win the division: 2-1
Odds to win the National League: 12-1
Odds to win the World Series: 25/1
Over / Under total for wins in 2012: 85
Highest Paid Player: Matt Holliday $17 million
Key 2013 free agents: 1B/OF Lance Berkman
Highest projected 2012 fWAR: Matt Holliday 5.9
Canadians in camp: P RJ Swindle
Division Crowns since 1995: 7

Welcome aboard: Manager Mike Matheny, OF Carlos Beltran, LHP J.C. Romero, pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, INF Alex Cora.

Thanks for the memories: Manager Tony La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan, 1B Albert Pujols, RHP Edwin Jackson, INF Ryan Theriot, INF Nick Punto, C Gerald Laird, RHP Octavio Dotel, LHP Arthur Rhodes.

Cincinnati Reds

2011 record: 79-83; 3rd in NL central
Manager: Dusty Baker
General Manager: Walt Jocketty
2012 estimated Payroll: $92.7 million
Odds to win the division: even
Odds to win the National League: 9-1
Odds to win the World Series: 18/1
Over / Under total for wins in 2012: 87.5
Highest Paid Player: Brandon Phillips $12 million
Key 2013 free agents: 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Scott Rolen
Highest projected 2012 fWAR: Joey Votto 7.5
Canadians in camp: 1B Joey Votto, P Jeff Francis, P Kyle Lotzkar
Division Crowns since 1995: 2

Welcome aboard: RHP Mat Latos, RHP closer Ryan Madson, LHP Sean Marshall, RHP Andrew Brackman, LHP Jeff Francis, OF Ryan Ludwick, INF Wilson Valdez, OF/INF Willie Harris, RHP Brett Tomko

Thanks for the memories: C Ramon Hernandez, RHP closer Francisco Cordero, LHP Travis Wood, RHP Edinson Volquez, LHP Dontrelle Willis, INF Yonder Alonso, OF Fred Lewis, SS Edgar Renteria, C Yasmani Grandal.

Pittsburgh Pirates

2011 record: 72-90; 4th in NL Central
Manager: Clint Hurdle
General Manager: Neal Huntington
2012 estimated Payroll: $61.9 million
Odds to win the division: 18-1
Odds to win the National League: 33-1
Odds to win the World Series: 66/1
Over / Under total for wins in 2012: 73.5
Highest Paid Player: A.J. Burnett $16.5 million
Key 2013 free agents: P Erik Bedard
Highest projected 2012 fWAR: Andrew McCutchen 6.7
Canadians in camp: P Chris Leroux, P Erik Bedard
Division Crowns since 1995: 0

Welcome aboard: RHP A.J. Burnett, LHP Erik Bedard, C Rod Barajas, SS Clint Barmes, OF Nate McLouth, 3B Casey McGehee.

Thanks for the memories: 1B Derrek Lee, OF Ryan Ludwick, LHP Paul Maholm, SS Ronny Cedeno, SS Pedro Ciriaco, C Ryan Doumit, C Chris Snyder, RHP Jose Veras.

Chicago Cubs

2011 record: 71-91; 5th in NL Central
Manager: Dale Sveum
General Manager: Jed Hoyer
2012 estimated Payroll: $111.8 million
Odds to win the division: 16-1
Odds to win the National League: 24-1
Odds to win the World Series: 45/1
Over / Under total for wins in 2012: 74.5
Highest Paid Player: Alfonso Soriano $18 million
Key 2013 free agents: P Ryan Dempster
Highest projected 2012 fWAR: Starlin Castro 4.6
Canadians in camp: Ryan Dempster
Division Crowns since 1995: 3

Welcome aboard: LHP Paul Maholm, RHP Chris Volstad, LHP Travis Wood, 1B Anthony Rizzo, 3B Ian Stewart, OF David DeJesus, LHP Trever Miller, RHP Andy Sonnanstine.

Thanks for the memories: Manager Mike Quade, RHP Carlos Zambrano, 3B Aramis Ramirez, 1B Carlos Pena, LHP Sean Marshall, RHP Andrew Cashner, C Koyie Hill, RHP Ramon Ortiz.

Houston Astros

2011 record: 56-106; 6th in NL Central
Manager: Brad Mills
General Manager: Jeff Luhnow
2012 estimated Payroll: $75.7 million
Odds to win the division: 125-1
Odds to win the National League: 125-1
Odds to win the World Series: 225/1
Over / Under total for wins in 2012: 63.5
Highest Paid Player: Carlos Lee $18.5 million
Key 2013 free agents: 1B/OF Carlos Lee
Highest projected 2012 fWAR: J.D. Martinez 3.1
Canadians in camp: none
Division Crowns since 1995: 4

Welcome aboard: OF Jack Cust, INF Jed Lowrie, RHP Kyle Weiland, C Chris Snyder, RHP Livan Hernandez, LHP Zach Duke.

Thanks for the memories: RHP Mark Melancon, SS Clint Barmes, LF Jason Michael.

Synopsis

To have a chance of winning the Central, the Reds would need a great season out of pitchers Mat Latos and Ryan Madson, and Joey Votto must put up MVP numbers once again. The Brewers would need Aramis Ramirez to supply the missing offense due to Fielder’s departure. The Cardinals would have to capitalize on pitching and playing small ball. The Cubs would need the wind to blow out during every home game for just the Cubs at-bats. The Pirates would need Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla to return to the lineup, and the Astros, well, Houston-we may have a problem.

2012 Predictions:

Cincinnati Reds 94-68
Milwaukee Brewers 90-72
St. Louis Cardinals 82-80
Chicago Cubs 75-87
Pittsburgh Pirates 72-90
Houston Astros 60-102

Sources: bet365.com, fanGraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com