Writers' predictions for the St. Louis Cardinals 2024 season

Our writers have submitted their predictions for the 2024 season!
Mar 26, 2024; Mesa, Arizona, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) celebrates
Mar 26, 2024; Mesa, Arizona, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) celebrates / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
9 of 10

Jameson McCurdy (@J_macc14)

Team MVP: Nolan Arenado

Last year was obviously a frustrating one for everybody on the Cardinals last year, especially for Arenado who had a down year to his standards. I don’t think the league wants to see a Nolan Arenado with a chip on his shoulder which he should definitely come into 2024 with, expect him to be determined to do everything he can to make his personal numbers in 2023 and the team's numbers, a fluke. 

Breakout Hitter: Jordan Walker

Year two should be more comfortable in the big leagues for Walker. He no longer has to worry about his spot on the MLB roster, there should be less pressure and spotlight on him as a top prospect, and with his steady improvement defensively should help him relax more at the plate. It’s not Walkers rookie season was bad by any stretch, if anything it flew under the radar a bit, but this year I think with less distractions he should surge in 2024. 

Breakout Pitcher: Riley O’Brien

Outside of Ryan Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos, and JoJo Romero, the Cardinal bullpen is full of what-ifs, and out of that group of arms, in my opinion, O’Brien shows the most promise. O’Brien has made 2 appearances in the big leagues, one with the Reds in 2021, and one with the Mariners in 2022, and the Cardinals acquired him after he had a strong season in Triple-A Tacoma last year. He has a great repertoire of pitches that should fit nicely in a major league bullpen, and the Cardinals are in need of more swing-and-miss from their staff, O’Brien should help with that. 

Bold Prediction: Nolan Gorman hits 40 home runs

Manager Oli Marmol has been vocal about wanting to separate Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the lineup, and Gorman seems to be the best option to hit in between those two. We have seen in Gormans first two seasons that he has light tower power and he can drive the ball to all fields. He seems to have improved physically with a slight change to his diet and if the lingering back problems are behind him in 2024, he can reach his maximum potential this season. 

Two-sentence team summary:

Expectations for this season are probably the lowest we have seen in a long time after how last season came to a close, I believe that the Cardinals had an opportunity to establish themselves as true contenders in the National League and they failed to do so, they may not even win the division. The lineup should be one of the best in the league, the rotation and bullpen have a ton of question marks, and I am not confident in this coaching staff that lacks experience, The ceiling for this team right now seems to be around 84-88 wins with an opportunity to use their offensive depth at the trade deadline to improve the pitching situation.