Don’t look now, but the Cardinals are going to be a force in the NL

Paul DeJong #11 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Paul DeJong #11 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Coming off an NL Central division title in 2019, the St. Louis Cardinals are looking to build up their momentum in 2020.

The 2020 MLB season is basically a crapshoot all the way around. With a 60-game schedule and players saying they are sitting out, this is the perfect year for young, up-and-coming teams and established teams to stake their claims at the top of league. One of those teams to look out for is the St. Louis Cardinals.

The schedule is a key part to the Cards’ 2020 season. With 40 games against division rivals and 20 in interleague play against the AL Central, there is a sense of familiarity with their opponents. With a travel schedule that will not be as heavy as other teams, St. Louis will have to take advantage of bottom-feeders in the AL and NL Central, as well as take care of business against the cream of the crop.

Looking at the roster itself, St. Louis had a few offseason losses it had to deal with. With both outfielder Marcell Ozuna and pitcher Michael Wacha leaving for the Braves and Mets, respectively, the Redbirds had to make adjustments to combat the loss of two starters.

The key name to look out for is former KBO star Kwang Hyun Kim joining the Cards’ rotation. Paired with young aces Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson, St. Louis’ rotation is going to be dangerous.

The bats will also have to come to play similarly to how they did in 2019. Players like Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, Kolten Wong, Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina will have to maintain and maybe even improve their numbers for St. Louis. All the aforementioned players had more than 100 hits in 2019, so their production will be critical.

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With most of the 2019 team coming back that made an NLCS appearance against the World Series champion Nationals, the Cardinals are putting themselves in great position to run the National League. With the combination of a manageable schedule along with core players that have plenty of playoff experience, NL teams should be wary of St. Louis taking over the league in 2020.