Cardinals 2018 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2018 St. Louis Cardinals predictions? The St. Louis Cardinals have had winning records the last two years, but they missed out on postseason baseball the last two years, as well.
MLB Cardinals Predictions & Handicapping Insight
The Cardinals will look to avoid missing the postseason three seasons in a row for the first time since 1997 to 1999.
2018 MLB Team Previews – St. Louis Cardinals
- National League Central +375
- National League +900
- World Series +2000
- OF Marcell Ozuna
- RP Luke Gregerson
The St. Louis Cardinals were one of the winners in the Miami Marlins fire sale. The Cardinals got two time all-star Marcell Ozuna to man left field and provide pop in the heart of their order.
The Cardinals added Luke Gregerson to their bullpen banking on him bouncing back and providing depth to their bullpen.
- RP Seung Hwan Oh
- RF Stephen Piscotty
- RP Juan Nicasio
- SS Aledmys Diaz
- SP Lance Lynn
The Cardinals lost some decent players and some players with upside, but who they got and what they have now these losses won’t significantly hurt.
For example, Diaz is someone who has upside and could become a solid player in the future, but they have Paul DeJong who is a much better player now and probably will be in the future, as well.
Stephen Piscotty is someone who has upside as well, but their outfield is strong and there is no room for Piscotty.
Cardinals Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- RF Dexter Fowler
- CF Tommy Pham
- 3B Matt Carpenter
- LF Marcell Ozuna
- C Yadier Molina
- 1B Jose Martinez
- SS Paul DeJong
- 2B Kolten Wong
This is a good lineup from top the bottom. There is plenty of power to go around some decent upside in terms of average and on base. The intriguing part of this is how well the young studs Tommy Pham and Paul DeJong do in a full season; as well as the new two time all-star in the clean up spot in Marcell Ozuna.
Pham was a 20-20, .300 hitter last year. If Pham can do that again and possibly be a 30-30 player that would be quite the asset. There aren’t many players that hit over .300 and have power and speed to go along with it.
DeJong was quite the power surge last year as he hit 25 home runs in just 108 games. It’s not unrealistic to think that DeJong could potentially hit 40 home runs.
Ozuna had a career year last hitting .312 with 37 home runs, 124 RBI, and an OPS+ of 145. In a bigger spotlight and a bigger market will see how well Ozuna holds up.
The good news for Ozuna is if he does start off slow, St. Louis fans will be patient and supportive. Unlike a market like New York or Boston where they would jump down his throat after a couple of at bats.
The rest of this lineup is filled with solid veterans in Dexter Fowler, Matt Carpenter, and Yadier Molina who will be those steady, reliable rocks the Cardinals can lean on for a little while if Ozuna and the young guns don’t get cooking right away.
Jose Martinez was a quiet .300 hitter in a little over 100 games. The big 6’7 first basemen didn’t get the attention last year, but he was a quiet .300 hitter and was close to a .900 OPS.
Kolten Wong has yet to live up to the expectations that were put on him as a prospect, but last year was his best year. Perhaps, he’ll be able to continue that momentum into this year.
Cardinals Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- RHP Carlos Martinez
- RHP Michael Wacha
- RHP Luke Weaver
- RHP Adam Wainwright
- RHP Miles Mikolas
This is a good rotation on paper and if Adam Wainwright can stay healthy and if Michael Wacha can get back to where he was in 2014 and 2015 the Cardinals will be in great shape.
Carlos Martinez is a front of the line pitcher, but he has the potential to take that next step and be a legitimate ace and become one of the better pitchers in baseball.
Martinez has had three good seasons, but coming into his age 26 season the Cardinals are hoping that Martinez is hitting the peak of his powers now.
Luke Weaver had a good first impression last year starting in ten game and he’ll look to parlay that in 2018. He definitely has the potential to slip right in and give the Cardinals some quality depth.
Miles Mikolas is a wild card as he has been in Japan the last three years. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014 and he wasn’t all that effective. Perhaps Mikolas has learned some new things in Japan and he can apply them into his craft in 2018.
Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes will also compete and get some looks to joining the rotation.
Cardinals Predictions: Projected Closer:
- RH Luke Gregerson
The St. Louis Cardinals are buying low and hoping for a rebound season from Luke Gregerson.
Gregerson had by far his worst season as a pro. Gregerson had a career high ERA of 4.57, a 4.62 FIP, and a career low ERA+ of 87. Not good.
If Gregerson doesn’t get the job done then the Cardinals will have Tyler Lyons to turn to as he waits in the wings.
Lyons continues to get better and better. Lyons had a career low ERA coming in at 2.83, a FIP of 2.86, and an ERA+ of 151. Lyons also had an impressive 11.3 K/9 and if he can maintain that pace Lyons is looking at another strong year.
Brett Cecil and Dominic Leone are solid, quality pitchers in the bullpen as well. All in all, a pretty solid bullpen.
2018 St. Louis Cardinals Prediction:
This is a top heavy division because I believe the Brewers, Cubs, and the Cardinals all will be battling for the division all year long. It would be a surprise to me if either one of those teams completely fall off the face of the Earth.
From pitching to hitting the Cardinals might be the best team in this division from top to bottom and I as I recommended in my Brewers preview I like the Cardinals from a better perspective.
There is value to picking them to winning the division and picking them to advance and then hedging your bets when the time comes.
To me it’s a three horse race, and the odds have the Chicago Cubs as a clear favorite and I disagree.
What do you think of our 2018 St. Louis Cardinals predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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