The LT Profits Group are continuing to provide profiles for all 30 MLB teams before opening day to assist with your MLB picks, and today they profile the St. Louis Cardinals.
We are just four weeks away from the start of the 2016 MLB season, as there are three games on Sunday, April 3rd, with the rest of the league beginning play Monday, April 4th. In an attempt to help with your MLB picks, we are profiling all 30 Major League Baseball teams before opening day, and today we profile the St. Louis Cardinals, who finished in first place in the National League Central in 2015 at 100-62 but then lost to the wild card Chicago Cubs in the NLDS.
For starters, here is a summary of the St. Louis betting statistics for the 2015 season. Note that these stats are always for regular season games only and that the units won or lost are based on betting one unit every game, with those units and Over/Under records based on the closing lines from Pinnacle Sports.
St. Louis Cardinals 2015 Betting Stats
The Cardinals had the best record in all of baseball last season as the only Major League team to win 100 games, making St. Louis the best of a strong National League Central that sent three teams to the playoffs. And despite winning 100 games, the Cardinals had enough doubters that they never became extremely overvalued and thus the 22.47 units won by their supporters all season was the second largest profit in baseball behind only the Texas Rangers.
Up next, we move on to the Cardinals’ statistical summary for the 2015 season.
2015 St. Louis Cardinals Team Statistics
|Runs per Game||3.99||24th|
The 2015 Cardinals were different than previous Cardinal teams that used to bludgeon opponents offensively while oftentimes needing to overcome erratic bullpens. Instead, the Cardinals were very ordinary offensively but received great pitching leading the Major Leagues in team ERA, and that included a vastly improved St. Louis bullpen over recent seasons that finished third in the majors in pen ERA with Trevor Rosenthal converting 48 of 51 save chances.
2016 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Futures
Despite the Cardinals having the best record in baseball last year, these Future Odds suggest that oddsmakers are still skeptical of the St. Louis success, and even the Cardinals’ early season win total of 87½ is 12½ wins less than last year’s actual win total. The pessimism may have to do with St. Louis doing nothing to improve the offense while both the batting and pitching seemed to overachieve last season when looking at advanced peripheral numbers.
2016 St. Louis Cardinals Batting Forecast
Starting with the batting, the Base Runs record had St. Louis as an 89-win team in 2015, with that 11-win differential vs. their actual record making the Cardinals the biggest overachievers in baseball when comparing real wins to Base Runs wins, which could also be a major reason for the lower posted win total this season. And yet, as mentioned, the offense will have basically an identical look this season.
According to the ZiPS projections, this team has two players that forecast to have a WAR greater than 3.0 in Matt Carpenter (3.8) and Yadier Molina (3.3) and only two other players with a projected WAR greater than 2.5 in Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Piscotty, both at 2.6. And yet the only new acquisition that could see a bit of playing time is Jedd Gyorko, who might platoon at second base with Kolten Wong.
2016 St. Louis Cardinals Pitching Forecast
The starting rotation lacked a true ace last season and that appears to be the case again this year. The good news is that while St. Louis has no great pitchers, it does have four good ones in terms of projected WAR in Adam Wainwright (3.6), Lance Lynn (3.5), Carlos Martinez (3.4) and Michael Wacha (2.7). The loss of John Lackey may hurt, especially since we are not thrilled with his replacement Mike Leake.
As for the bullpen, outside of Rosenthal and Kevin Siegrist, the rest may have trouble duplicating their 2015 numbers, although newcomer Seung-hwan Oh could help a bit.