Cardinals preview before Opening Day

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Cardinals preview before Opening Day

Brandon Clark, Staff Writer

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The pride and joy of St. Louis will be debuting one day later than expected as the Home Opener was called off due to rain on Thursday, but a Sea of Red is prominent at the high school on Friday as it will be at Busch Stadium this afternoon downtown.

After making some incredible moves in the offseason, the Cardinals are more than a playoff contender this year, they’re a World Series contender as well.

After being questioned for their past offseason moves and free agent signings, John Mozeliak proved all of the haters wrong this winter. The Cardinals sent pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, and a prospect to the Arizona Diamondbacks for superstar first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Wow! To sweeten things up even more, the Cardinals strengthened their bullpen by adding Cleveland Indians all-star reliever Andrew Miller.

By the way, they signed that Goldschmidt guy to a 5-year extension worth $105 million, I guess he’s an alright baseball player.

The ballclub won a total of 88 games last season while arguably being housed in the toughest division in all of the National League

In the Central Division, you have the super slugging Milwaukee Brewers who only seem to hit home runs with talents such as Jesus Aguilar, Ryan Braun, and reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich, who hit 36 homers and 110 RBIs last season.

You have the Cincinnati Reds who have one of the best rising stars in baseball in Scooter Gennett and the Vince Carter of baseball with Joey Votto who only gets better as he ages. Because Cincinnati knew that the Cardinals ran wild this offseason, they knew they had to makes move too, so they added Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp from the Dodgers to improve their offensive arsenal.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a solid team who has one of the best pitchers in the entire NL within Chris Archer and the team never fails to pose as a threat in the Central.

Lastly, how could we forget our arch rivals, the Chicago Cubs, who happen to be the favorites to win the division and the pennant this upcoming season. They easily have the best infield in baseball which features Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zoibrest, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant.

The question is how can the Cardinals succeed with such a talented division and with a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs in four long seasons?

I believe the answer is in the pitching and the offense. The team is pretty stout on defense but they still need to have more than Matt Carpenter on the offensive end and a little more of a veteran presence in the bullpen. The Cards have a top-5 outfield in baseball featuring Marcel Ozuna, Tyler O’Neill, Dexter Fowler, and Harrison Bader who I believe will be an All-Star this year.

St. Louis will play the Padres and Manny Machado at home to open up against the San Diego Padres which will be a very fun game to watch as Goldschmidt will be making his grand St. Louis debut. I also believe Goldschmidt will give the city of St. Louis a home run or two in that first game to let the city know he has arrived.

MLB super fan, Stan “The Fan” Charles, did a preseason power ranking for the entire MLB on March 26th had the Cards as No. 4 on his entire list. The three teams in front of the Cardinals are all American League teams.

St. Louis, we only have several more hours before Cardinals baseball is back in session, and I can assure you, this team will not be sitting on the couch again this October.

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Cardinals preview before Opening Day