Yes, I can be objective. Objective about most things and most all people. But, in my bones, in my bloodstream born of the waters of the Mississippi, I am an irrational, unapologetic, borderline insane Cardinals fan. Just like you. It’s fine, we’re the normal ones.
In the spirit of that paragraph, I give you my insane, unfounded, barely-backed-up-by-reality, predictions for the 2018 Cardinals Campaign. Feel free to judge me, I stand fast in my unfettered fandom.
- Yadier Molina will catch 140 games, hit 20 home runs, and reclaim his Gold Glove: Yeah, I said it. The man has not aged. He’s like the Rodger Federer of backstops. Last year he caught 1125.2 innings and had one of the most productive offensive years of his career. Save your “He’s due for a drop off” crap from someone else. Team Yadi ride till I die ... or he retires
- Adam Wainwright will win 15 plus games with a mid-three ERA: His fastball hit the 90’s this week! The 90’s I tell ya! If his arm stays that live he will be able to use Uncle Charlie and the change as well as any hurler in the game. Pair that with a solid offense and defense and Waino is set for a Phoenix-like renewal of his career.
- Tommy Pham will go 30-30 and win a Gold Glove: He was mad, now he’s angry. They gave DeJong a Brinks truck and T-Pham gets a lousy half mil? He is now complete in his accumulation of rage. He will dominate the NL and then take his talents elsewhere, and I really won’t blame him.
- Jose Martinez will finally and thankfully bring an end to the “Matt Carpenter is a cornerstone player” era: I know the unspoken reasons everyone outside the 270 loop loves Matt Carpenter, but I am not in that camp. I think he’s good. That’s it. OBP is great, but when you run into 50 outs a year and have the footspeed of a three-legged sloth what good does that OBP do you? Jose can flat out hit. Give him 500 at-bats and he’ll hit 30 bombs and drive in 90-110 runs. Or, let’s have another exciting summer of staring at Marp’s .249 batting average while listening to talking heads prattle on about working the count. Wake me when it’s over.
- People will realize that Carson Kelly is not a major league starting catcher: He has never hit. Never, at any level. Check the stats. I had to double check those after the 300 gallons of Carson Kelly Kool-Aid the STL sports media has fire hose shot down my throat over the last 5 years. Maybe the rest of you will come around and join me on this side of sanity.
- Alex Reyes will save 20 games: When the Cards win, they finish the year with a young guy closing out games that never closed before in any real capacity. See defense exhibits 2006 and 2011 for reference. If Maddux takes the governor off Reyes come mid-July, watch out NL.
- Luke Weaver will win 17 games with a 2.75 ERA: He has the sickest stuff and livest arm of a guy that size I’ve seen since Pedro. If the Cards can keep him fresh, he will be in the top 10 of Cy Young Voting.
- Mike Matheny will give complete control of the bullpen to Greg Maddux’s brother: This is more of a wish than a prediction. I mean, remember all those times Mr. Handsome brought in Broxton the last two years and even my 2-year-old niece knew, “Well, here comes a walk and a screamer to follow.” Please, in the name of all that is good and holy, give Maddux the only landline to the pen.
- Jose Oquendo will send at least 15 runners he should not have: Yeah, remember that part of Oquendo? We forgot all the bad and painted the man a baseball saint. I love the secret weapon as much as any ballplayer not named Ray Lankford, but sometimes I wonder if he knows the distance from third to home is actually ninety whole feet.
- The Cardinals will win 93 games and the Central Division Crown: Book it now, call Vegas and clear your October calendar, my friends. The river shall run red and the winter birds will stay put for 4 extra weeks of baseball. Just remember, all of my previous 9 predictions are iron clad and will come true…so…add those together and you get another banner. It’s science.
If you don’t agree, or don’t have a sense of humor and cannot tell what you just read was in jest, hit me up on the Tweet site @will_KSDK.