Cardinals 2018 Postseason Prediction
After failing to make the postseason for the second straight season, the St. Louis Cardinals addressed their biggest weakness this offseason. But will that be enough for the Cards to make a playoff run?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Cardinals have 20/23 odds to make the postseason in 2018. The Cubs, meanwhile, have 5/18 odds to make the playoffs while the Brewers are 3/2 to qualify for the postseason. These three teams have the best shot of making the playoffs in the National League Central. Let's focus on the Cardinals, however.
As previously mentioned, the Cardinals addressed their biggest weakness this offseason, which was finding a middle-of-the-order bat to lengthen their lineup. On December 14, the Cardinals struck a deal with the Marlins for Marcell Ozuna, who will hit cleanup in St. Louis. A lineup that now features Dexter Fowler, Tommy Pham, Matt Carpenter and Ozuna at the top of the order is formidable for opponents.
That said, what about the pitching? Carlos Martinez is an ace but the rest of the rotation has question marks. Luke Weaver has plenty of promise but has never pitched a full season in the big leagues. Michael Wacha has had durability issues in the past and struggles the third time through an opponents' lineup. Adam Wainwright is coming off his worst season in the pros and is 36. Myles Mikolas was pitching in Japan the past couple of years.
There's no question the Cardinals have improved in several areas, from their offense, to their coaching staff, where long-time fan favorite Jose Oquendo is returning to the bench after a two-year stint working with the Cards' minor leagues in Florida. Oquendo is masterful when it comes to working with players on their defense and base-running, two areas where St. Louis has struggled the past two years.
Still, I can't back them as a playoff team with a rotation with as many questions as this one, not to mention they don't have a closer at the moment. Luke Greggerson will fill that role initially, but he can't be the full-season ninth-inning guy.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS PLAYOFF PREDICTION: MISS THE PLAYOFFS 20/23