St. Louis Cardinals: Seven Predictions For the 2017 Season
The St. Louis Cardinals are less than a month away from opening the 2017 campaign against the Chicago Cubs, so here’s some speculation on the upcoming season.
Who had the St. Louis Cardinals leading the National League in home runs last season? Who would have guessed that Jedd Gyorko would pace the team in long balls? Predictions in baseball are difficult to make because many of them end up being absurdly inaccurate, but it’s still fun to hypothesize nevertheless.
Most fans and writers who joined in the speculation surrounding the Cardinals this time last year probably ended up being even further off the mark than usual, as 2016 was an anomaly in many ways for St. Louis.
It wasn’t different just because the team missed the postseason for the first time in six years. As was mentioned, the Birds led the National League in long balls, but also ranked near the bottom of the league in defensive and baserunning metrics. Their pitching was lackluster, and they finished with a losing record at Busch Stadium for the first time in its eleven year history.
2016 wasn’t all negative, though, as it also had some welcome performances and surprises. Aledmys Diaz burst onto the scene less than a year after being designated for assignment. Yadier Molina crouched behind the plate for the most games he ever has in a single season and still saw an uptick in his offensive output. Carlos Martinez ascended to the role of staff ace.
So, as the Cardinals continue to prepare for the upcoming year, let’s get started with seven predictions for the 2017 season: