8 Cardinals who are outperforming projections this year

A quarter mark into the season, several Cardinals are outperforming their projections.
St. Louis Cardinals v Oakland Athletics
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Kyle Gibson

Perhaps the most unsung hero of the starting staff, Kyle Gibson has done exactly what the Cardinals needed him to do. He's gotten quality start after quality start this year, and he's given the team a fighting chance in most of his outings. Gibson has 5 quality starts on the year through 8 total starts.

Gibson's 3.67 ERA, 4.44 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, and 111 ERA+ are all much better than preseason expectations. He has excelled this year at getting groundballs (48.9% rate), and he has limited hard contact this year. Players are barreling the ball against him (11.5% rate), but he's been able to keep those hard hits on the ground.

Gibson has been about league average according to K rate (19.9%), but his walk rate is more escalated than most pitchers in the league at 10%.

ZiPS projected Gibson to have a 4.51 ERA in just under 150 innings. His K rate is slightly better than projections, but his walk rate is also a bit worse than projections. Gibson's projected FIP (4.51) is within the margins of error with his actual FIP (4.44). Where Gibson is doing much better this year than projections originally had him is in BABIP. ZiPS projected a .300 BABIP for him, but reality has been much kinder. He has a .248 BABIP.

When John Mozeliak signed Kyle Gibson, hopes were low for the veteran righty. He has been a stabilizing force in the rotation up to this point. He has pitched at least 6 innings in all but one start -- his most recent outing. Also, he has allowed 4 runs or fewer in all but one start this year. In the start where he allowed 7 runs, Gibby still pitched 6 innings, thus saving the bullpen.