Cardinals Season Outlook


Peter Onder '23

As we near the end of the school year, there is a growing sense of finality in the air, especially for us seniors. However, baseball provides a new beginning yet again for the 2023 Major League Baseball season. As the season starts, let’s take a look at the Cardinals’ championship aspirations.

The Cardinals are historically the second-greatest baseball franchise, only bested by the New York Yankees. Even recently, they have much to be proud of. They have only had one losing season this century, and they have won two championships in that timeframe. On top of that, the Cardinals have seen legendary players spend their careers in Saint Louis, which we were reminded of this past season when Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina played their last games in Saint Louis. 

However, last season we were also reminded of the recent failures of the Cardinals in the postseason. They were embarrassed on national television by the Phillies last year, showing a complete inability to perform when it matters. The 2020 and 2021 playoffs did not fare much better. The last time the Cardinals won a playoff series was in 2019, and that season they were swept by the Nationals in the Championship League Series, scoring just six runs in four games. The point is, while the Cardinals still are a solid team, and while they do not have a long championship drought, they need to find a way to compete in the postseason. 

That can all change this season though. The Cardinals have an electric lineup, featuring superstars such as perennial MVP candidate Nolan Arenado, reigning MVP Paul Goldschmidt, and all-star catcher Wilson Contreras, who replaced Yadier Molina in free agency. The bullpen is top five in the MLB. The weak spot of the team is the starting rotation, which lacks both strikeouts and a true ace. John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, may feel tempted to stick with the team he has. This team will almost certainly make the playoffs in a weak NL Central, even without a true ace. However, if the Cardinals really want to compete for a championship, they must trade for a true ace that playoff opponents will fear in the postseason.