2020 Season Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 07: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates as he hits a walk-off sacrifice fly to give his team the 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves in game four of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 07, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

On Monday, Major League Baseball released the schedules for all 30 teams. Here’s a preview of how the Cards will stack up in 2020.

Getting Started

The schedule is set for just 60 games this year, making it imperative that the Cardinals get out of the box quickly.

With the shortened season, 40 games (ten each) will be played against each of their National League Central counterparts. The other 20 games will be dispersed between the teams of the American League Central. As a result, the Red Birds will face Cleveland for a three-game stint at Busch Stadium. They will also challenge the Royals six times; three at home, and three away in the locally famous I-70 series.

It has been said, many times, that it isn’t how you start it is how you finish. With the shortened season, that may not be the case. Getting off to a meager start could disrupt the flow of the entire campaign. It is critical for St. Louis to start off strong.

There shouldn’t be too many hiccups along the way. Strong starts from guys such as, Jack Flaherty and Matt Carpenter will bolster their chances. Additionally, Paul Goldschmidt and Miles Mikolas are reportedly nearly 100 percent and ready to go.

The Cardinals won the NL Central Division last year, and are favored to repeat again this season. The Cincinnati Reds may have something to add to the conversation, as they made several vital acquisitions during the offseason Milwaukee added some infield depth to their pool, while Chicago and Pittsburgh pretty well remained steadfast.

Implications of the Shortened Season

Due to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic there was a work stoppage. At this time, it is unforeseen as to who will – or will not – be playing this season, as Major League Baseball has given players the option to opt out. Allowable opt-out reasons include both personal reasons, or the fear of contracting the virus.

We could potentially see breakout years for unsuspecting players, while others may not progress as planned. This could conceivably impact not just the player’s career, but Major League Baseball for years to come.

In Conclusion

After winning the Division last season, The Cardinals will play 43 games against teams who posted a losing record in 2019. This leaves only 17 games versus teams with a winning record. That being said, the Reds have improved dramatically over the winter, despite a losing record in 2019. Overall, the Cardinals appear to be in good shape in 2020. To quote the great manager Bobby Cox, “They need to win the games they should win, and play .500 baseball against everyone else.”

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