The folks over at AOL's Fanhouse aren't especially impressed by the Cardinals. In their just released power rankings, the Birds are eighth overall and third in the National League behind the Phillies and the Rockies.
Here's the rationale from writer Matt Snyder:
The best player in baseball, an All-Star left-fielder, two of the NL's three best starting pitchers last season and a brilliant defensive catcher are enough to make them the favorites of an incredibly weak NL Central. Unless they get help from other places -- like Colby Rasmus improving, Ryan Franklin staving off the aging process and Brad Penny reverting to 2007 form -- they'll get pushed by up to three teams.
I can see Philadelphia's rank as number 3 overall. They have a loaded offense and a potentially very potent pitching staff led by Roy Halladay. But the Rockies? Colorado got it's manager fired last year with its underachieving ways before making a late run to make the playoffs.
Closer Houston Street is going to start the season on the disabled list and an otherwise suspect bullpen doesn't have an heir apparent to pick up the slack. Let's just say the starting rotation, while solid, doesn't have the luxury of depth and experience the Cardinals have.
The Rockies are a good club and I am certainly not trying to mock them. But I can't help but wonder why the Cardinals don't get more love from the national writers.
The Cubs are the highest ranked NL Central team besides St. Louis, checking in at 15th overall. Click here to see the rest of the power rankings.