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Cardinals fans are not going to be happy with the team’s 2021 PECOTA projection.
The St. Louis Cardinals have not had a losing season since 2007. Their worst finish since then was an 83-79 season back in 2017.
Fans are used to the club being a perennial powerhouse in the National League Central, which is why many will be shocked at the 2021 record prediction from Baseball Prospectus’ annual PECOTA projection.
The Cardinals are projected to finish third in the NL Central with a record of 81-81.
Cardinals projected to go on the decline
The Milwaukee Brewers are projected to win the division at 89-73 and the Chicago Cubs are picked second at 85-77.
Finishing at the .500 mark would be a rare occurrence for the Cardinals and fans are likely confused considering the team just added Nolan Arenado. Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are both back on one-year deals and Paul Goldschmidt hasn’t gone anywhere either.
The main point of contention may be the fact the Cubs are projected to finish with four more wins. That is a Cubs team potentially going through a state of transition and players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez could all be on the move.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have their eyes on competing for a World Series.
St. Louis’ amazing run is going to come to an end at some point. The team has only one losing season since 2000 and hasn’t lost at least 80 games in a season since 2007. But is it going to end in 2021?
PECOTA may know something fans do not. Or this is simply a conservative projection that could improve if the Cubs make some major moves before Opening Day. But that won’t make fans feel any better and now the Cardinals have a bit of an underdog tag on them to start the year.