Cardinals 2016 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2016 St. Louis Cardinals predictions? The always-competitive St. Louis Cardinals (the only 100 game winners in the Majors last year) will try to once again reign supreme in the constantly improving NL Central this season.
MLB Cardinals Predictions & Handicapping Insight
Although the team lost Jason Heyward and John Lackey in free agency, the return of Adam Wainwright after a lost season due to injury and the addition of Mike Leake to the starting staff ensure that St. Louis will be one of the teams to beat again in 2016.
That said age is slowly creeping up on them – 2016 could be the last chance this core has to make yet another serious run toward a World Series crown. Will they be able to make some serious noise? Let’s break it down.
2016 MLB Team Previews
- Cardinals National League Central Future Odds: +250
- Cardinals National League Pennant Future Odds: +1100
- Cardinals 2016 World Series Futures Odds: +1800
Mike Leake, Jedd Gyorko
Jason Heyward, John Lackey
2016 Cardinals Predictions – Projected Lineup:
- 1. 3B Matt Carpenter
- 2. RF Stephen Piscotty
- 3. LF Matt Holliday
- 4. SS Jhonny Peralta
- 5. 1B Matt Adams
- 6. CF Randal Grichuk
- 7. C Yadier Molina
- 8. 2B Kolten Wong
The loss of Jason Heyward hurts the Cards for sure and the continuing injury situation of Yadier Molina is something to keep close tabs of for sure.
But what the Cards have on their side is consistency and an ability to bring the absolute best out of themselves each and every season – the fan base and the management absolutely demand it.
Matt Carpenter who finished top seven in runs, home runs and RBI among third basemen in 2015 and Matt Holiday are about as steady as they come, both in the field and at the plate while young outfielder Randal Grichuk has a real chance of taking the next step this year.
RF Stephen Piscotty hit .305 after the All-Star break and 1B Matt Adams should be good to go after missing most of 2015 with injury. Jhonny Peralta has shown form in the past but seems to wear down as the season goes along. Potential break out candidate Kolten Wong has the chops to be the next big thing in his first year as a Cardinal.
Translation – the Cards will be a top-third offense once again.
The lack of a big bat may sting but the steady pros that remain and the organizational depth will take St. Louis a long way again.
Also we can expect the Cards to make their typical trade deadline splash – my guess is that a big bat is coming their way at some point this season.
2016 Cardinals Predictions – Projected Rotation:
- 1. RHP Adam Wainwright
- 2. RHP Carlos Martinez
- 3. RHP Michael Wacha
- 4. RHP Mike Leake
- 5. LHP Jaime Garcia
The Cardinals had the best record in baseball last season for a reason – pitching!
The Cardinals’ starters had a 2.99 ERA — a half run better than all but two other teams in the majors – and they did so without staff ace Adam Wainwright who missed most of the season with an Achilles injury.
Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha were OK in 2015 but will need to be a whole lot better especially with the injury to Lance Lynn. Mike Leake was a solid acquisition in the offseason – he is an innings eater and a solid #3 guy with tons of upside for this squad.
Jamie Garcia will have to remain healthy and effective as well this year for the Cardinals to get to the promise land.
Simply put the Cardinals starters may not be as they were last year – it would be a monumental task to match the uber-impressive numbers from 2015. But the Cards definitely have some arms – assuming Adam Wainwright can stay healthy they are still a top tier rotation.
Pitching is always a strength in St. Louis – 2016 should be no different.
2016 Cardinals Predictions – Projected Bullpen:
- RHP Trevor Rosenthal (Closer)
- RHP Jordan Walden
- RHP Seth Maness
- RHP Jonathan Broxton
- LHP Kevin Siegrist
- LHP Seung Hwan Oh
- LHP Tyler Lyons
The Cardinals had one of the better pens in the game last year as well – Trevor Rosenthal recorded a club record 48 saves (he has converted 93 of 102 save opportunities over the past two years) and Jordan Walden and Seth Maness were two of the most reliable guys in the Majors.
Jonathan Broxton is a horse out of the pen and only adds to the intrigue of this unit while Korea’s all-time save leader (277) Seung Hwan Oh was added to solidify this impressive group.
The pen won’t be a problem this year in St. Louis – the team is deep, talented and they seem to have just the perfect formula for success. Expect the Cards to be elite again late in games.
2016 Season St. Louis Cardinals Predictions:
The St. Louis Cardinals are due for a step back – aren’t they? This could be the year, especially with the loss of their biggest power hitter Jason Heyward and a quality starter John Lackey. The ongoing hand issues of Yadier Molina is also a bit of a red flag as is the aging core of this squad.
My belief is that the Cubs are a better all-around team in the Central but the St. Louis Cardinals are a close second. While the Cards don’t win the NL Central, they do qualify for the postseason again only to lose out before the Big Dance.
What do you think of our 2016 St. Louis Cardinals predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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