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St. Louis Cardinals Betting Tips – Cardinals Need A Lot To Go Right In 2013 To Challenge For NL Central Title

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 3/4/2013 6:14:08 PM

The St. Louis Cardinals have overcome a ton of adversity over the sports betting years, and have remained a legitimate World Series contender from the National League despite allowing several key pieces to walk away from their organization as free agents. The Cardinals once again allowed a couple of key pieces to walk away in the offseason with Kyle Lohse still unsigned at the start of spring training and Lance Berkman headed to the Texas Rangers. St. Louis still has a very deep and talented roster even without Lohse and Berkman, but they will need a lot of things to go right to challenge for the NL Central title in 2013.

The Cardinals’ starting rotation managed to hold its own in 2012 despite being without Chris Carpenter, and now they will need to step up again without Lohse, who played the role of ace on their team a year ago. Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly each stepped up to fill the void, as Lynn went 18-7 with a 3.78 ERA, and Kelly threw a 2.78 ERA in limited action late in the year. While Kelly will only be used as a starter if the top-five struggle early on, Lynn will be expected to at least duplicate his stats from last year as he pitches behind Adam Wainwright and Jamie Garcia at the top of the rotation. Jakes Westbrook will slide in to the No. 4 spot while the role of the fifth starter is Shelby Miller’s to lose, and it will be interesting to see if St. Louis’ starting pitching can both stay healthy and hold its own.
The Cardinals’ bullpen should once again be a strength, but the online sportsbook numbers indicate the starters need a lot to go right to hold their own.

With question marks about their rotation, St. Louis may need to lean even more on its hitting, with Matt Carpenter and David Freese batting in the heart of the order. Carpenter needs to stay healthy and play to his potential, and if he does then the Cardinals could have one of the better groups in the majors. Freese and Allen Craig have proven over the years how dangerous they are, and with Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran shuffling towards the bottom of the order, depth will not be an online betting issue for St. Louis.

Health is always a significant issue with any team, but with the Cardinals in particular it will matter more than other contenders with deeper starting rotations. St. Louis can’t afford any of its top arms to go down with injuries or struggle in their new roles, and while that could be a lot to ask for a team that has dealt with a ton of that in recent years, it will make the difference. The Cardinals need a lot to go right in 2013, but if their pitching can stay healthy, their offense will hold its own and help the club remain in contention for a division title.

Projected Record: 90-72; 2nd Place In NL Central

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