Should Cardinals' fans be prepared for April showers?

The St. Louis Cardinals have a tough schedule in April. Would an initial .500 month be acceptable?
Toronto Blue Jays v St. Louis Cardinals
Toronto Blue Jays v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages

The beginning of a baseball season is an opportunity for optimism. Management has built its team, the players have prepared for a grueling 162-game season, and Opening Day festivities excite the fanbase.

However, a tough April schedule could immediately pop the positivity bubble that a team might have. In the case of the St. Louis Cardinals, they start the season off with a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. For those of you who are unaware, the Dodgers have spent over $1 billion this offseason on players such as Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Tyler Glasnow.

After the world-class Dodgers, the Cardinals will face four other playoff teams from last year, including two series against the National League Pennant winners, the Arizona Diamondbacks. They'll also go head-to-head against the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, and Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals do get some reprieve in the middle of the month against the Oakland Athletics, but they'll close April against two midde-of-the-pack teams in the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers, both road series.

That gives the Cardinals one of the toughest opening months in baseball next year. What should we expect in the month of April? If the team finishes the month at or below the .500 mark, will there be calls for firings or trades already? Can the front office (and fans) wait out the long season until at least June to get a better idea of who this rebuilt Cardinal team is?

It is feasible that the Cardinals win sixteen games in April; they could win a series against the Marlins, Brewers, Athletics, Tigers, Mets, and possibly even a series against the Padres. It doesn't feel likely that they will steal a series victory over the Dodgers and Phillies, however. The Arizona Diamondbacks figure to be a formidable opponent, and I wouldn't be surprised if those two series are split when all is said and done.

Given the Cardinals' difficult schedule to start the season, their first thirty games spanning the end of March and all of April could be challenging. There is a path to an optimistic 16-14 record after April, but they could also finish the inaugural month of baseball with a 12-18 record.

Regardless of how the team finishes April, don't fuss. There will still be 132 games left, and the Cardinals are typically a second-half team. There is cause for concern, especially given how poorly they performed last year, but there's no need for all-out despair. Let the new players gel, give the coaching staff time to tweak players, and let the players develop a fire that will carry them through the season.