Bold Prediction #5 - The Cardinals will finish with the second best record in the National League and lose in the NLCS.
Double whammy with my boldness on this pick. First, finishing with the second best record in the National League will be tough, especially now that teams play fewer games against their division rivals. Yet, I do think a combination of the amount of talent the Cardinals have and their weaker division will help them win a lot of games in 2023.
And even in a loaded National League, I think the Cardinals have what it takes to go deep in October. If they are able to get that number 2 seed, they will just have to win one playoff series and will have a bit of an advantage over their NLDS opponent as they will get to set their rotation while their opponent would have already thrown their best guys. By this time, the Cardinals may have even acquired a front-line starter to lead this rotation.
But the biggest reason for the Cardinals' deep run in the 2023 postseason will be their deep lineup. By October, I believe Goldschmidt, Arenado, Contreras, Walker, Nootbaar, and at least one of O'Neill, Carlson, or Juan Yepez will be big bats that teams will dread facing. Supplementing those guys with the likes of Nolan Gorman, Brendan Donovan, Tommy, Edman, and Alec Burleson will make the Cardinals one of, if not the most, dangerous lineup in baseball.
I do not think it will be enough for them to make the World Series though. One of the Padres, Mets, or Braves will represent the National League in the World Series, but when the off-season rolls around, the whole league will know that St. Louis is ready to win a World Series in 2024.
Those were my bold predictions for the 2023 season. What did you agree or disagree with? What are your bold predictions for the Cardinals in 2023? Let me know in the comments!