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Can the Cardinals Repeat as World Series Champions?

The St. Louis Cardinals look to begin their title-defense today when they kickoff the regular season against the Miami Marlins.

Today's Major League Baseball's official Opening Day, considered by thousands of St. Louisans as an unofficial holiday. And while the St. Louis Cardinals' home opener is really where it's at, that's not stopping us from getting into the baseball mood! 

There's no shortage of story lines for the 2012 Cardinals as they look to defend last season's when the season kicks off today against the Miami Marlins

The team is missing perhaps three of its biggest names of the past decade in , pitching coach Dave Duncan—both of whom retired—and, of course,  

Former Cards catcher Mike Matheny is the new manager. And the Redbirds will look to fill the void left by Pujols with a handful of new and familiar names.

Baseball Prospectus, a website dedicated to sabermetric analysis, has the Cardinals winning 89 games and winning the National League Central this season. And ESPN's Power Rankings rates the Redbirds as the ninth best team in the league.

How many games do you think the Cardinals will win this season? Will they make the playoffs? 

Do you think Chris Carpenter will make a difference this season? Can Adam Wainwright contend for the Cy Young? 

And what about the offense? Will David Freese continue his torrid 2011 playoff pace? Can Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman make up for the absence of Albert Pujols? 

Jason Wescoat April 04, 2012 at 09:06 PM
'64 is recent history?!? I'll give you 2006, but half the team now wasn't even alive in '82 either. Of course, in 2006 we were a terrible team (83 wins if memory serves) that got hot at the right time. In 2007, our best pitcher missed the season. This team has a much better chance of doing well, if, as the Joe's have mentioned, we are healthy. If we're not healthy, we might just be terrible. There's no way Matheny will get fired during his first year unless all heck breaks loose. I don't care if they do end up in 6th in the Central, he's got a leash of at least a couple of years while they bring up the young kids to replace the old dudes.
Gregg Palermo April 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I put the over/under at 94 games and go from there. I have to say I'm already tired of the "how will they do without Pujols, Duncan, LaRussa" angle, and we haven't even started the season. Having said that, I can't remember a team being better prepared for handling this kind of scenario, or at least not being compromised enough to just fall apart (depending on Carpenter's health). Is that saying more about Milwaukee (No Fielder, Braun in the post-testing controversy, etc) and other league rivals than it does St. Louis? You could make that case.
Jim LaLonde April 05, 2012 at 03:42 AM
The Cardinals could win, but a lot of mistakes will be made by the rookie manager and the team being re-tooled. In the long run, it will be pitching that counts.
Candace Jarrett April 07, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I couldn't agree more with you Jim. The pitching will be vital but it also seems like they always get older or injured pitchers.
Candace Jarrett April 07, 2012 at 01:45 AM
In the most recent ESPN magazine, he at least gave STL its props, but said it was a business decision. I don't think he's enough to turn around the Angels.

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