10. The Cincinnati Reds strong finish to 2023 forces the Cardinals to be aggressive during the offseason
The Cincinnati Reds are an extremely fun team to watch. Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, and others along with a farm system that still has more talent on the way. The Reds are ready to start contending.
The Cardinals can see this. They have a few advantages over the Reds with their bigger payroll, as well as having already established starts that are being supplemented with young talent. This season, the Reds have the edge, but you better believe St. Louis is going to punch back next season.
The Cardinals can take control back of the NL Central if they indeed make aggressive trades at the deadline and in the offseason, along with spending the necessary dollars in free agency to make a major pitching upgrade. It probably doesn't feel like this team can overcome the Reds right now, but I have a strong feeling the Cardinals see them as a legit threat and are planning accordingly.