Russ Robinson (@frrobinson1957 on Twitter)
MVP: Nolan Arenado
It’s really just a matter of time until the 10-time Gold Glove and 5-time Silver Slugger is the NL MVP. Only Paul Goldschmdit’s outstanding 2022 kept him from winning last year.
Arenado has it all…the glove, the bat, and the desire to win.
Cy Young: Jack Flaherty
I said this last year when we predicted these for 2022, Flaherty is the only one on the staff with Cy Young potential. Waino is past those days, and Miles Mikolas just isn’t quite that type of pitcher. In 2018, his best season, Mikolas won 18 games and still came in 6th in Cy Young voting.
X-Factor: The Rotation
Many think Jordan Walker will be the X-Factor, however, I still think it’s the rotation. If everything falls right, this will be a very good rotation. Flaherty needs to be back to his 2019 level, Mikelos to his 2018 level, Matz needs to be Matz, and Jordan Montgomery needs to be what we saw after the trade deadline.
Two-sentence team evaluation:
This is a team of if’s. If the rotation steps forward and is very good, if the outfield offensive production improves, if Goldy and Arenado have seasons close to 2022, and if Jordan Walker is the next coming of Albert Pujols, then this will be a World Series contender.
Bold Prediction: Huge trade at the deadline
I expect the Cardinals to make a bold and even maybe, franchise-changing trade before the Trade Deadline. Maybe this is not a bold prediction, but the Cardinals will use the Trade Deadline to make the improvement needed to put this team into World Series contention. There is enough talent in the minor league to add a needed quality arm or bat.