Latest projection system has eye-opening prediction for Cardinals

Baseball Reference recently released their projections for the 2024 season. St. Louis is in a surprising position.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Projection systems up to this point have been quite bullish on the St. Louis Cardinals. However, Baseball Reference recently released their predictions, and the projection system places the Cardinals in a unique position.

For an organization that is accustomed to winning, Cardinal fans, management, players, and executives are not familiar with finishing last in the National League Central. Baseball-Reference places the Redbirds in that exact position. After a 71-91 season in 2023, it is wholly possible that the Cardinals will finish in the exact same place next year, at least according to this outlet.

Not only are the Cardinals behind the likes of the Pittsburgh, Pirates, Milwaukee, Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago Cubs, but they are also trailing the Washington Nationals in both the win-loss department and playoff odds. The Colorado Rockies are only 5 games behind the Redbirds.

Baseball Reference updates its projection system often; therefore, it is one of the most up-to-date systems in all of baseball. Injuries to Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman, Keynan Middleton, and Sonny Gray have likely hampered the St Louis Cardinals' projection. The most recent injury to Dylan Carlson will likely decrease the team's future success even more.

It is important that the Cardinals start the 2024 season off with a bang. Given what Baseball Reference believes about the team's ceiling, fans should probably prepare themselves for the worst once again.

Baseball-Reference projects the Cardinals to have only 70.2 wins in 2024. Additionally, their 90th percentile projection places them at just 80 wins, still below the .500 mark. The worst-case scenario, according to the website, gives the Cardinals 60 total wins. According to the site, the Cardinals have just a 1.5% chance to make the playoffs, less than the Pirates and Nationals. The remaining crowns such as the pennant and the World Series are well beyond the team's reach.

This past offseason was a pivotal one. With John Mozeliak nearing the end of his tenure, it was important for the team to make improvements that would prevent a repeat of the 2023 disaster. Additions like Sonny Gray, Andrew Kittredge, and Keynan Middleton simply helped the team stay afloat at the bottom of the division according to Baseball Reference.

With a projected win total of just 70 wins, the St. Louis Cardinals would have the 4th-worst record in all of baseball. Having back-to-back seasons in the dregs of the league is a new position for many Cardinal fans both young and old. While these are only projections, we can still use them to preview what may come to fruition. Don't put all of your stock in the fact that the Cardinals will win just 70 games. The offense will surely be one of the best in the league, and the revamped bullpen will limit the amount of games that are lost in the later innings.

However, it is still disappointing to see the Cardinals already projected to be in last place without a single game being played. The best we can do as Cardinal fans is hope that Baseball Reference is wrong.