Cardinals MLB Betting Season Prediction

Cardinals MLB Betting Season Prediction

The St. Louis Cardinals made the playoffs last season and nearly upset the Los Angeles Dodgers in the wild-card game, yet that wasn’t even good enough to save the job of manager Mike Shildt. What to expect of the 2022 Cardinals?

  • Odds to win World Series: +2500
  • Odds to win National League: +1200
  • Odds to win NL Central: +205

St. Louis Cardinals 2022 Season Review

The Cardinals didn’t look like a playoff team for much of last season as they were a mediocre 71-69 after a Sept. 10 loss to Cincinnati, but then the Redbirds went on a 17-game winning streak to earn the NL’s second wild-card spot opposite the Dodgers. It was the longest in the major leagues since Cleveland took 22 in a row in 2017 and the longest by any team from Sept. 1 on since the 1935 Chicago Cubs won 21 in a row.

However, the Dodgers won the wild-card game 3-1 in Los Angeles as Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. Cody Bellinger got the Dodgers started when he drew a two-out walk from T.J. McFarland. Alex Reyes entered to face Taylor, and Bellinger stole second. Taylor then sent a 2-1 breaking ball into the left field pavilion.

It was the fifth walk-off home run in a winner-take-all postseason game, after Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski in the 1960 World Series, the Yankees’ Chris Chambliss in the 1976 AL Championship Series and Aaron Boone in the 2003 ALCS, and Toronto’s Edwin Encarnación in the 2016 AL wild-card game.

Still, the Cardinals posted their 14th consecutive winning season in 2021, their 21st in the last 22 seasons, and the 81st in franchise history. They had a franchise-record 15 consecutive winning seasons from 1939-53. The Cardinals & Yankees are the only teams to have winning seasons each of the past 14 years. Since Opening Day of 2011, the Cardinals have played 1,674 regular season games, out of 1,677, during which they still maintained playoff aspirations and had not yet been eliminated.

Yet for some reason, manager Mike Shildt was fired. He had a year left on his deal, and reached the postseason in the three years he had been full-time manager of the team. Shildt replaced a fired Mike Matheny in the 2018 season.

Shildt’s managing came under fire in the wild-card game, when several bullpen maneuvers were questioned in real-time by viewers and fans. Cardinals president John Mozeliak says that the team decided to move on from Shildt due to a “philosophical difference” in the direction of the team.

“All I can say is where we felt the team was going, we were struggling to get on the same page,” Mozeliak said. “With him having one year remaining on his contract, we could have gone into 2022 having that over him, and we just decided that internally it would be best to separate now and take a fresh look as we head into a new season.”

The new Cardinals manager is Oliver Marmol. It’s Marmol’s first big-league managerial opportunity, but he has plenty of experience in the dugout. Marmol has been in the Cardinals organization since they drafted him in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, and he transitioned from playing to coaching during the 2010 season. After working his way up the minor league ladder as a coach and manager, Marmol was named the Cardinals’ first-base coach in 2017, and he was promoted to the bench coach role in 2019.

At 35, Marmol will be the youngest active manager in Major League Baseball and the youngest to manage any team on Opening Day since Eric Wedge with Cleveland in 2003. He will be the youngest to manage the Cardinals since Marty Marion in 1951 and is younger than eight Cardinals’ players who appeared in a game last season, including Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright.

The Cards made one major move before the MLB lockout in signing pitcher Steven Matz to a four-year, $44 million contract. He is coming off a 3.82 ERA and 144/43 K/BB ratio in 150 2/3 innings over 29 starts with the Blue Jays in 2021. Matz was very good for the Blue Jays in the second half, going 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA. He was particularly strong while working on extra rest.

The 2022 season, whenever it starts, will be the last for Cardinals catcher and future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina, who will retire. He has made 10 All-Star appearances, won nine Gold Gloves, four Platinum Gloves, two World Series titles and a Silver Slugger.

Expert Pick

  • St. Louis beats out Milwaukee for the NL Central title but doesn’t win the pennant

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