For those who are interested in the statistical prediction sort of thing, the PECOTA preseason rankings are out and it doesn't look good for the Cardinals.
The Redbirds are predicted to improve in the standings from fourth to third place. But that doesn't mean they'll be contenders by a long shot. Their record is expected to worsen to 80-82, 15 games behind the first place Cubs and five games behind the second place Brewers.
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The Astros, who rallied to pass the Cardinals near the end of last season, are projected to take a huge fall, dropping to 66-96. That's just one game ahead of the last place Pirates. The Reds are expected to finish fourth at 78-84.
I wonder how much difference a major league second baseman and some help for the bullpen might have made...