2017 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS PREVIEW

2016 at a glance

Record: 86-76 (2nd in NL Central)
Hitting: 5th (4.81 R/G)
Pitching: 12th (4.08 ERA)

I like the pickup of Fowler and the Cards haven’t had a true leadoff guy like this for some time.  .393 OBP last season.  Other than Fowler they are a very similar team to last years.

Let’s look at the lineup which is solid.

Projected Lineup

Player POS AB HR RBI AVG
1 Dexter Fowler OF 515 14 46 0.266
2 Aledmys Diaz SS 522 18 71 0.285
3 Matt Carpenter 1B 518 80 21 77 2 0.272 0.362 0.483 0.845 69 103
4 Stephen Piscotty OF 565 20 85 0.278
5 Yadier Molina C 424 6 47 0.292
6 Jhonny Peralta 3B 399 12 47 0.268
7 Randal Grichuk OF 500 27 76 0.252
8 Kolten Won 2B 495 12 51 0.259

The problem won’t be the lineup, the problem is the pitching which is filled with question marks.

Projected Rotation

Player IP W L ERA
1 Carlos Martinez 187 12 9 3.32
2 Mike Leake 174 10 10 3.88
3 Adam Wainwright 179 11 9 3.52
4 Lance Lynn 142 8 8 3.74
5 Michael Wacha 115 6 7 3.76
6 Luke Weaver 75 5 3 3.48
7 Marco Gonzales 58 2 4 4.81

Leake is ok but he barely pitches 90, doesn’t strike out much and allows more baserunners than I like.  Wainwright is still a solid pitcher but not the ace he used to be.  Lynn and Wacha are major question marks and I will be looking more to fade them than betting them until they proof they are back to form.    Cards rotation will be allowing a lot of baserunners and that is something that could keep them out of contention if it comes to fruition.

Bullpen looks like a strength with OH who will likely dominate and Rosenthal will be a great setup guy.     Cards will go as far as their rotation takes them.  Pitching is so important and the rotation will be the difference between a wild card spot and being left out of the playoffs.

 

GABEWINS

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