Treaty

Cardinal fever!

Many predict the Birds to fight for a Wild Card spot this season

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Cardinal fever!

Michael Wacha pitches in a game last season. The Cardinals expect Wacha to be a number 2 or 3 starter this season.

Michael Wacha pitches in a game last season. The Cardinals expect Wacha to be a number 2 or 3 starter this season.

Eric Fischer

Michael Wacha pitches in a game last season. The Cardinals expect Wacha to be a number 2 or 3 starter this season.

Eric Fischer

Eric Fischer

Michael Wacha pitches in a game last season. The Cardinals expect Wacha to be a number 2 or 3 starter this season.

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Baseball season is right around the corner. This season is a very bright time for St. Louis when the Cardinals hit the field in April. They are coming off their second straight season without a playoff appearance. Last season they finished 83-79 and third in the NL Central behind the Cubs and Brewers.  

Though the team failed to land superstar Giancarlo Stanton, Coach Mike Matheny has high hopes for the season with the addition of left fielder Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. Dexter Fowler is expected to make the move to right and give the left fielder spot to Ozuna. An addition to pitching Coach Mike Maddux will help the pitching unit. Mike is the brother of hall of fame pitcher Greg Maddux so pitching is in his blood. Cardinal Nation was heartbroken when they could not land superstar Giancarlo Stanton. St. Louis gave him the best deal but he did not like the nightlife in St. Louis and decided to go to the Yankees.

The former #1 prospect, Alex Reyes, will be returning to the mound after receiving Tommy John surgery. Center fielder Tommy Pham is also expected to have another breakout season after hitting 23 home runs and batting .308 last season. Carlos Martinez is expected to be the number one pitcher this season.

The Cardinals are a young team in 2018 with Carlos Martinez, Paul DeJong, Tommy Pham, and Marcell Ozuna. The veterans Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are also expected to maintain their roles as the leaders. Due to an unconstant Trevor Rosenthal, Matheny decided to acquire Luke Gregerson from the Houston Astros to possibly fill in the role of a closer. Gregerson has not closed in a few years and had a high ERA last season.

The Cardinals will open the regular season on March 29 in New York City against the Mets. The first game at Busch Stadium is April 5 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Opening Day is always a big tradition in Busch Stadium. With a sellout crowd and Clydesdales walking around the field, it is a tradition that cannot be missed.

The NL Central will be a challenging division. The Milwaukee Brewers have been building a strong team this offseason with the additions of outfielders Lorenzo Cain, and Christian Yelich. The rival Cubs will also be a challenge with a strong offense and addition of pitcher Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers.

The Cardinals are projected to finish second in the Central with a 87-75 record which could earn them a Wild Card spot. Closing will be the biggest issue due to a questionable Gregerson, who last served as a Major League closer in 2016. Controversy is also surrounding 36-year-old veteran Adam Wainwright on whether he can still produce as a starting pitcher as his age keeps increasing. Last year Waino sported a 12-5 record but a high 5.11 E.R.A.

However, despite the question marks and mediocre predictions, the Cardinals have a tradition of winning and coming alive in the big playoff moments. The city of St Louis is ready for the old ways of the Cardinals to come back.

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Cardinal fever!