Will St. Louis Cardinals Compete For A Playoff Spot In 2020?

For the first time in three years, the St. Louis Cardinals were able to take back the National League Central crown and get into the MLB playoffs. Better yet, the Cardinals were able to win a series for the first time since 2014. While it has not like they have been a bad ballclub of late (they have been over .500 and 80 wins each of the last three playoff-less seasons), for a team that has won two World Series titles and been to two more over the past decade and a half, their expectations are higher. While they were bested by the eventual World Series Champions Washington Nationals in the NLCS, they are bringing back the core from this solid season, so they will be looking to repeat last year’s success and go one step further.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS ODDS

TO WIN WORLD SERIES: 25/1
TO WIN NL PENNANT: 15/1
REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL: 88.5

OFFSEASON CHANGES

The Cardinals will be returning the majority of their team from their 2019 campaign, really only making two noteworthy news. The bad news for St. Louis is that they lost a major player in the field and on the mound as heavy-hitting outfielder Marcell Ozuna departed in free agency, heading to the Atlanta Braves. Despite regressing the past couple of years in terms of average, Ozuna still was third on the team in homeruns (29), second in RBIs (89), and third in slugging (.472). He was even third in stolen bases with 12. Beyond that, the team also lost starting pitcher Michael Wacha in free agency, but were able to replace who with Korean Baseball Organization star Kwan Hyun Kim. The 31-year old veteran posted a 17-6 record. 2.51 ERA, and 180 strikeouts in 30 starts.

Outside of those two moves, the Cardinals were relatively quiet this winter.

IF THINGS GO RIGHT…

It will be business as usual for St. Louis and they will be headed back to the playoffs. They are returning six players who hit over .260 in Tommy Edman, Kolten Wong, Yadier Molina, Jose Martinez, and Paul Goldschmidt. The Cards are returning to four starting pitchers with sub-4.20 ERAs in Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Dakota Hudson, Adam Wainwright. They are too solid top to bottom, and should be one of the better teams in the National League.

IF THINGS GO WRONG…

The Cardinals will still probably post a solid season, but might miss the postseason due to a strong division. This team has been one of the most solid teams for the last two decades, reaching the postseason 13 times in 20 years. In that time, they have only gone under .500 twice. Bringing back the majority of their team they could very easily be headed back to the playoffs. However, in a division with the rock-solid squads like the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers and the much-improved Cincinnati Reds, this could be more of a toss-up than many people think. We can see that in the odds as four teams are between +225 and +375 to win the NL Central. That being the case, the Cards could win the division again or they could also finish fourth.

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