6 overreactions to the first week of the Cardinals' 2024 season

The Cardinals 2024 season is just over a week old and there are already plenty of fan overreactions. Let's break them down and see which are good and which are not!
St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
1 of 6

The St. Louis Cardinals have been playing regular-season baseball for just over a week, and it's already looking a lot better than last year. However, there are some concerns surrounding the team early, and with small sample sizes come big overreactions from the fanbase. Many of these overreactions will die down once the season continues, but there's a bit of truth in all of them. Which Cardinals early season takes are correct, and which are overreactions? Let's break them down!

Overreaction 1 - Nolan Arenado's decline has begun

It's no secret that Nolan Arenado's 2023 season was extremely disappointing and the worst full season of his Major League career. Arenado himself would be the first to say he let himself down and let Cardinals fans down. Coming off an electric 2022 season, Nolan Arenado posted the worst offensive and defensive numbers of his career. It was the first full season in which Arenado didn't reach 100 RBIs and did not win the Gold Glove at third base.

Hoping to put the struggles in 2023 behind him, Nolan Arenado came into Spring Training camp optimistic, hungry, and with something to prove. Lars Nootbaar, who worked out with Arenado all offseason, noted Nolan's desire to prove doubters wrong: "A motivated Nolan is a scary Nolan." Many in Cardinals media noticed this and expected Arenado to immediately rebound. Katie Woo of the Athletic even gave a bold prediction that he would receive MVP consideration during an appearance on the Dealin' the Cards (formerly Noot News) Podcast.

However, Arenado had a rather quiet Spring and hasn't gotten any better to start the season, unlike teammate Paul Goldschmidt. He looks lost at the plate, taking weak half swings, and is amidst the longest home run drought of his career. In 8 games so far, Arenado has recorded a 61 OPS+. It's still an extremely small sample size, but his peripherals including exit velocity, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate are all uncharacteristically low.

Including his struggles this Spring and last season, many fans have begun to wonder if Nolan Arenado's best years are behind him and if his age-induced decline has already begun. With still three more seasons on an expensive contract, regression from Arenado would be a serious problem for the Cardinals going forward, and the warning signs have presented themselves early this season.

However, it's not all lost for Nolan. He started 2023 in a similar manner and turned it around in May and June to receive an All-Star selection. It wasn't until later in the season that his struggles started again due to a back injury. While Arenado appears fully healthy, it's possible he's still suffering from nagging issues, or it's just another slow start like last season. We're eight games into the 2024 season, and there are plenty of star players who haven't quite gotten it going. Hopefully, Arenado will catch fire soon.

Verdict: It's still too early to tell, but I'm definitely more worried than I was with his slow start last year.

It's too early to get pessimistic about this season and DraftKings is giving you 150 reasons to stay hopeful. You'll get an instant $150 bonus boost to back your Cardinals (and anyone else) if you sign up, deposit $10 or more and then bet $5 or more on any game. Click this link to sign up with DraftKings today!