St. Louis Cardinals 2019 Betting Odds, Preview: Time to End a Playoff Drought

St. Louis Cardinals 2019 Betting Odds, Preview: Time to End a Playoff Drought article feature image
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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports.

  • The Cardinals won 88 games in 2018, but missed the postseason for the third straight year.
  • They made two major offseason acquisitions by bringing in Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller, the former being one of the best and most consistent players in baseball this decade.
  • Thanks to a deep lineup and bounty of pitchers, there's a good chance their playoff drought comes to an end.

Original analysis published on Feb. 27.

St. Louis is a baseball city and the Cardinals are one of the best franchises in the game. Between 2000 and 2015, they made it the World Series four times (and won two of them), won their division nine times and made it to the postseason twelve times — never going more than two years without a trip to the playoffs.

However, they’ve failed to play October baseball in three straight seasons. Though they’ve remained competitive, staying above .500 every year, the fans want that playoff baseball!

I can’t predict the future, but I think they’ll get there this season.

2018 Results

  • Record: 88-74 (+3.5 units), 79-83 ATS (-3.8 units)
  • Over/Under Record: 77-78-7
  • Preseason World Series Odds: +2100
  • Win Total: 86
  • Most Profitable Starter:  Miles Mikolas (24-8, +11.7 units)

The Cardinals slightly exceeded expectations last year, eclipsing their win total by two. However, while Milwaukee surged in September and caught the Cubs to win the division, the Cardinals crumbled, going just 12-15 in the final month.

The Cards were one of just three teams whose Pythagorean record was exactly the same as their actual record, suggesting they weren’t lucky or unlucky.

Of course, one of the biggest surprises for them last year was the recently-paid Miles Mikolas. The Lizard King returned to the majors with elite control after pitching in Japan for a few years. He finished sixth in the NL Cy Young race and brought a different look to their rotation.

2019 Odds

  • World Series Odds: +1200
  • Division Odds: +200
  • Win Total O/U: 88.5
  • Playoff Odds: Make -110, Miss -110

The Cardinals didn’t make a bunch of meaningful offseason moves, but they made two that will be very impactful by trading for Paul Goldschmidt and signing Andrew Miller.

Goldschmidt is as reliable of a hitter as they come. Since 2013, he has the third highest fWAR among position players behind only Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson. The Cards already had some good hitters, but Goldschmidt is an elite heart of the order bat.

Miller was banged up last season, but makes an already deep pitching staff even deeper. If they can make the postseason, we all know what type of weapon he can be there.

I really like the Cardinals and will be shopping around to see what I can get them at to win the NL Central. Payouts better than +200 do exist out there.

I think that the Cubs could be just as good if they stay healthy, but the Cardinals have more depth and flexibility if things go wrong. Things go wrong in baseball a lot.

Either of those teams are a good bet in my mind at approximately the +200 to +250 range, as I don’t think the Brewers are of the same caliber.

Roster Notes

  • Key Additions: Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew Miller, Ryan Meisinger, Drew Robinson, Matt Wieters, Tommy Layne (minors), Hunter Cervenka (minors)
  • Key Subtractions: Luke Weaver, Tyson Ross, Bud Norris, Matt Adams, Greg Garcia, Matt Bowman, Carson Kelly, Patrick Wisdom
  • Potential Lineup
    1. Matt Carpenter – 3B
    2. Paul De Jong – SS
    3. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
    4. Marcell Ozuna – LF
    5. Dexter Fowler/Jose Martinez – RF
    6. Yadier Molina – C
    7. Harrison Bader – CF
    8. Kolten Wong – 2B
  • Projected Rotation
    1. Miles Mikolas
    2. Jack Flaherty
    3. Carlos Martinez (Injured)
    4. Dakota Hudson
    5. Michael Wacha
    6. Adam Wainwright
  • Prospect Watch: Alex Reyes (No. 33, RHP), Andrew Knizner (Unranked, C), Dakota Hudson (Unranked, RHP)
  • Key Injuries: Carlos Martinez (Shoulder, early 2019), Luke Gregerson (Shoulder, early 2019), Jedd Gyorko (Calf, early 2019), Brett Cecil (Forearm, early 2019)
  • MVP Candidates: Paul Goldschmidt (+1000), Marcell Ozuna (+4000), Matt Carpenter (+5000), Paul De Jong (+20000), Yadier Molina (+30000)
  • Cy Young Candidates: Miles Mikolas (+4000), Jack Flaherty (+5000), Michael Wacha (+10000), Carlos Martinez (+20000)

Analysis

Player to Watch: Marcell Ozuna

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