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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1. St. Louis Cardinals

Our very own St. Louis Cardinals are projected to have the best lineup in the National League Central in 2024. The Cardinals are projected to amass 25.3 WAR according to ZiPS from their position players next year. That would place them behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (29.3 WAR), Braves (32.5!! WAR), and Diamondbacks (26.3 WAR) in the National League alone.

The floor is high for the position players; not a single position is projected for a WAR total less than 2.1 in 2024. Nolan Arenado should have a bounceback season according to ZiPS, and Tommy Edman (3.4 WAR), Paul Goldschmidt (2.9 WAR), Willson Contreras (2.7 WAR), and Lars Nootbaar (2.4 WAR) round out the top-five projected WAR leaders for next year.

The team's defense won't be what it once was, although Masyn Winn sees a strong projection in his rookie season at shortstop. Nolan Gorman figures to continue to mash, and Jordan Walker's 80th percentile OPS+ of 142 would be tops on the team. Last year, the team finished sixth in wRC+ in the National League, but that has injuries baked into it that players may have otherwise played through if the team was in the playoff hunt (Arenado, Burleson, etc).

St. Louis's lineup has a nice balance of youth and experience, and on-base machines Brendan Donovan and Lars Nootbaar should set the table quite well for the middle of the lineup. A return to the team's old defensive ways should bode well for the lineup's performance next year.

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