With the regular season opening up this week, we look at the biggest question facing each National League club in 2021.Arizona Diamondbacks: Will they regret MadBum's contract?The Diamondbacks added Madison Bumgarner on a five-year, $85-million contract last winter while wavering between a rebuild and playoff contention. It's not an overly onerous amount of money for a guy known to eat innings, but the former World Series MVP looked abysmal in his first year with the club. In 41 2/3 innings during the pandemic-shortened campaign, he posted a 6.48 ERA and 7.18 FIP - the second-worst FIP among starters with at least 40 innings last year, according to FanGraphs. With $79 million still owed, this could become a contract that harms the rebuilding process that general manager Mike Hazen started four years ago.Atlanta Braves: Is Riley finally ready to break out?The Braves seemingly had a couple of options entering the offseason regarding how to fill the impending Marcell Ozuna-sized hole in the lineup. With the loss of the universal DH, they could have let Ozuna walk, shored up the outfield with defensively superior in-house options, and upgraded the offense at third base. Instead, they retained Ozuna on a reasonable deal and decided to roll with Austin Riley at the hot corner rather than make a blockbuster deal to acquire the likes of Nolan Arenado or Kris Bryant. The 23-year-old was an elite prospect as recently as 2018 and mashed at every minor-league level. That production has translated to the bigs yet, but he seems to have locked up the third-base job regardless. Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / GettyChicago Cubs: Who's next to go?Earlier this spring, Anthony Rizzo expressed optimism about signing an extension before Opening Day. Now, the first baseman seems destined to at least test free agency, which extends a winter of disappointment for Cubs fans. Rizzo isn't the only player on an expiring deal, either; he's joined by Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, while Kyle Hendricks - who has at least three years of control remaining - has popped up in trade rumors.Cincinnati Reds: Who plays shortstop?The Reds aimed high during the offseason but came away empty-handed at shortstop. For now, it appears third baseman Eugenio Suarez will slide over, but that's hardly a full-time answer. Moving natural shortstop Nick Senzel back to the infield is one potential option if the Reds choose to stay internal; prospect Jose Garcia is also waiting in the wings for a shot. Until a more permanent solution is figured out, this question will continue to hover over the Reds.Colorado Rockies: How long does Story last?Trevor Story's tenure on the Rockies has become reminiscent of Will Smith standing alone in the Banks family's Bel Air mansion. Arenado was shipped out, Daniel Murphy retired, even Ian Desmond opted out. It's no surprise that FanGraphs projects this club to win just one more game than the Pirates. Will Story, who is eligible for free agency this winter, even make it the full season with this team? Will the consistent losses cause a rift with management that necessitates a midseason trade? Kelly Gavin / Major League Baseball / GettyLos Angeles Dodgers: Is this the start of a dynasty?The Dodgers finally shed their playoff demons last season to bring a World Series title back to Hollywood. In 2021, they'll go for a repeat having added reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer in free agency. They'll also finally get David Price into their rotation after he opted out of 2020. Oh yeah, and the lineup still has Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner, among others. The sky is the limit for this dream team. In fact, these Dodgers might just be unstoppable.Miami Marlins: Can the young aces build on their breakouts?The Marlins are a fun and exciting team, and many are pegging them as dark-horse wild-card contenders after a breakout last year led by a trio of young aces - Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez, and Pablo Lopez. While expecting another playoff berth is a little too bullish, Marlins fans can still be excited to see those three take a step forward and offer a clearer glimpse into the future. Will one clearly rise above the others? Can they do it over a full season? Time will tell.Milwaukee Brewers: Can Yelich rediscover his MVP form?Yelich's first two campaigns in Milwaukee were unbelievably successful, as he produced two of the greatest offensive seasons this century. Everything changed in 2020, though, as he never got his bat going. It's possible that his struggles were a result of the shortened season. The Brewers have to hope it was because if Yelich can't get back to his MVP form, Milwaukee is all but cooked. Rob Tringali / Major League Baseball / GettyNew York Mets: Can the rotation behind deGrom hold up?DeGrom is going to do his thing every five days, and that's music to the Mets' ears. It's the games in between where questions remain. Carlos Carrasco is injured, putting even more pressure on Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker, David Peterson, and Joey Lucchesi. Stroman also opted out of last year after suffering a calf injury. The Mets will be a very good team, and their pitching staff behind deGrom is strong, but actually seeing the results will go a long way toward easing anxieties.Philadelphia Phillies: Is the bullpen fixed?The Phillies' bullpen was historically awful in 2020, even when accounting for the shortened season. One of new president Dave Dombrowski's first orders of business in Philadelphia was to fix this problem, and he made a concerted effort by signing Archie Bradley and Brandon Kintzler and trading for Jose Alvarado. It's an improved unit, to be sure - but did they add enough? The bullpen will ultimately be what makes or breaks this team.Pittsburgh Pirates: Is it the future yet?There's no getting around it: The Pirates are going to be bad. Even in a weak NL Central, the 2021 Pirates already have a worst-season-in-franchise-history feel to them. So the only question now is whether they can find a time machine and speed things up to when they'll (presumably) be good again. Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres / Getty Images Sport / GettySan Diego Padres: Is being second-best in the league good enough?After a transformative offseason, the Padres are arguably the second-best team in baseball, depending on what you think of the Braves. The problem is, they're also the second-best team in their division. Of course, the second wild-card spot gives them enough of a buffer to consider them a legitimate title contender. But, when October rolls around, the Dodgers and Padres will have already met 19 times, and the winner of the wild-card game will face the top seed in the NLDS. Even if they're the second-best team in the league, the Padres could face an early postseason exit, though they could prove they're good enough to go toe to toe with the reigning champs.San Francisco Giants: Can Bart take the reins from Posey?Posey is on an expiring deal, so this could be his swan song in San Francisco. There are two ways to think of his recent seasons: The optimist would believe his time off in 2020 would have given him time to recharge and improve on 2019 - his worst season by far. The pessimist would say his decline has begun and there's no turning back. If it turns out to be the latter, the highly touted Joey Bart will be waiting to steer the Giants into their future.St. Louis Cardinals: Is Arenado enough?The Cardinals got significantly better when they snagged Nolan Arenado from the Rockies for an unbelievably low cost. And with the NL Central being as weak as it is, Arenado might have put them over the top in the division race ... or did he? This team could easily still be caught in the division and has a glaring hole in the outfield. St. Louis could use another left-handed pitcher as well. Arenado was an excellent pickup but may not be the final piece of this puzzle. Patrick Smith / Getty ImagesWashington Nationals: What will Scherzer's final act be?No team seemed more rudderless than the Nationals last year relative to expectations. After losing Anthony Rendon to free agency, Trea Turner stepped up in a huge way and Juan Soto continued to bloom into an MVP candidate, but just about nothing else went right. Patrick Corbin was mediocre, Stephen Strasburg was hurt, the bullpen was awful, and Andrew Stevenson was legitimately the team's third-best position player. With the additions of Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber, Brad Hand, and a legitimate fourth starter in Jon Lester, Max Scherzer will be tasked with leading a retooled roster to another championship in his final year under contract.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.