Ranking the National League Central's projected 2024 lineups

The National League Central features some decent lineups. Where do the St. Louis Cardinals fall in the pecking order?

St Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages
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2. Chicago Cubs

The gap between the #3 team, the Reds, and the #2 team, the Chicago Cubs, is impressive. The Chicago Cubs, according to ZiPS, are projected to rack up 23.6 WAR in 2024 on the position player side of the game, and that's without Cody Bellinger returning.

Chicago's middle infield duo of Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner are both projected to lead the team in WAR with 4.1 and 3.9, respectively. Should Cody Bellinger resign in Chicago, he would be third in projections with 2.7 WAR (not included in my total listed above). Chicago's recently acquired first baseman, Michael Busch, is projected to accumulate 2.5 WAR with a slash line of .248/.333/.446.

Outfielders Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ will be strong players, and ZiPS is expecting center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong to be serviceable in center, although most of his WAR will come from the defensive side of the ball. Third base is a bit of a question mark for the Cubbies, as Nick Madrigal, Patrick Wisdom, and even Michael Busch could all find themselves logging substantial innings at the hot corner.

Chicago's position players are talented, especially defensively. The addition of Michael Busch and the ascendance of Nico Hoerner benefits the Cubs greatly. If they do resign Cody Bellinger or if they sign Matt Chapman, the Cubs could become one of the best teams in the National League, surpassing others in the division.