Saturday, December 31, 2011
The St. Louis Cardinals will be better this year than last year. Crap. Granted, the Cardinals' run was truly magical, and I don't know of a single 'expert' who predicted them winning the World Series. However, Albert Pujols, a mainstay in Cards' lineup and future Hall of Famer, signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which many believe to be a crippling blow to the franchise. However, I believe the opposite, and have concluded that they will be better. Adam Wainewright, arguably the Cardinals' best pitcher, is returning from Tommy John surgery this year, and will be throwing harder than usual because of the rehab exercises he performed. Wainwright has a WAR of about 6, meaning he adds 6 more wins to his team than an average, replacement level player would. Considering that he's coming back from serious surgery, we'll round that down to 4. Add in the recently signed Carlos Beltran, who adds about 4 wins as well, and the 5.6 wins added by Pujols this year is completely recovered, and even exceeded. While nobody expects the Cardinals to win the World Series again, they should improve their record by a few wins.