St. Louis Cardinals: Updated PECOTA projections for the Cards

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Ben Zobrist
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Ben Zobrist /

Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs have added a significant player or two. How have these additions changed the landscape of the National League Central?

About a week ago, I wrote a piece on PECOTA’s projections for the St. Louis Cardinals . Yu Darvish had not signed with the Cubs, and Bud Norris had not signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Both moves helped each team, with the Cubs’ move being much more significant – at least “on paper”.

The St. Louis Cardinals, before signing Norris, were projected to win 84 games. This would have put them in second place in the National League Central, five games behind the Cubs. Their projected win total would have been good for the fifth best record in the National League, tied with the San Francisco Giants. Therefore, we would have competed with them for the second wild-card spot. The Cubs, before signing Darvish, were projected to win 89 games and win the Central.

So, where does each club stand after their additions?

Well, the St. Louis Cardinals are now projected to win 85 games. Adding Bud Norris is apparently good for one more win.

This win total is still one game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers but is now two games ahead of the Giants (I think the San Diego Padres’ addition of Eric Hosmer makes them better, therefore the Giants are now supposed to win one fewer game). So, we are now supposed to have the fourth best record in the National League.

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The Cubs are now projected to win 93 games, an increase of four games. Darvish is a big sign, at least for this year. The Cardinals are now projected to finish eight games behind their biggest rival. Yikes.

Like I mentioned in my previous article, these are projections. The season can play out much differently.

I think some of the St. Louis Cardinals’ players are undervalued in the projections, which is why I think we will win closer to 88-90 games.

With that being said, have the Cardinals done enough yet? It is hard to say that they have.

The front office has made the team into a wild-card contender. But, is that good enough for Cardinals’ fans? It is not good enough for me. I want to be a World Series contender – every, single year. Is that realistic? Maybe, maybe not. But, we as fans have grown accustomed to success since the start of the 21st century.

Next: Most important starting pitcher

As baseball fans know, anything can happen once the playoffs start. Being better “on paper” does not always translate to winning a playoff series. So, who knows how far the St. Louis Cardinals can go this year? But, right now, a deep run in the playoffs does not look promising. Do you guys agree? Thanks for reading.