How the Cole signing helps the Cardinals.

Stephen Strasburg returned to the Washington Nationals agreeing to a 7-year $245 million dollar contract smashing David Price’s $217 million contract signed in 2016.  Strasburg now has the largest contract ever signed by a pitcher.

Gerrit Cole…hold my beer.

Cole signing a 9-year $324 million contract to join the New York Yankees on Tuesday immediately surpassing Strasburg’s deal.  The Yankees have planted their flag in the American League East for years to come. The Yanks will have a rotation that now includes James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, JA Happ along with the aforementioned Cole.  The Yankees will have a rotation that will match their powerful lineup and lockdown bullpen. 

Why does this help the St. Louis Cardinals?  

The Boston Red Sox have openly stated that they are looking to cut down salary heading into the 2020 season.  David Price, being the obvious salary to try and dump. Price has had a connection to the Redbirds since he signed his mega deal in 2016.  St. Louis has a need for another impact starter to place behind Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson. Injuries to Alex Reyes and Carlos Martinez have changed the future of the rotation.  Price, has had a few injury concerns throughout his career but his numbers when healthy have not tailed off to a point of major concern. David Price’s SIERRA if eligible last season would rank in the top 13 right behind Jack Flaherty. Price is owed $32 million each year for the next three.  Pricey (ha pun intended), but acceptable if the Red Sox can throw in a kicker. 

The signing of Gerrit Cole has put the Red Sox even further behind in the AL East. Boston has to make a decision on their future.  By moving Mookie Betts or Andrew Benintendi along with Price would be enough for St. Louis to include one of their young rising outfielders, Tyler O’Neil, Randy Arozerena or Adolis Garcia. 

The Cardinals have to go out and take advantage of a Red Sox right now, while the iron is hot.  Boston sees the writing on the wall. They have to do some remodeling before they can make a run at the division title.  They also see teams like Oakland and Tampa Bay continuing to emerge. They are desperate, throw them a name like Carlos Martinez and a prospect and you can not only get a solid piece to your rotation but a potential proven outfield commodity.  

NBA's Biggest Disappointments so Far


San Antonio Spurs 

The Spurs are 8-14.  While it is early, you don’t have time in the loaded Western Conference to sit around and wait for your team to develop.  It’s really not the record that is the biggest surprise, it’s more the style of play that we have seen from San Antonio. Greg Popovich is a future Hall of Fame coach that has found a way to adapt his players to the style that is necessary to win.  They have always been a solid paced team that was able to play defensively at a high level. That’s no the case in 2019. Currently the Spurs are sitting behind the New York Knicks in team defensive rating. The NEW YORK KNICKS!

The Spurs have an interesting problem, they have two stars that don’t shoot threes.  That is an uncommon trend in today’s NBA. While San Antonio has become a faster paced team on the offensive end they have not caught up with the trend of shooting from deep.  They are mid-range happy. With their defensive issues they have to find a way to put more points up. The Spurs don’t have a lot of time to figure this season out, if they continue to flounder in mediocrity it may lead to a moving of one or potential both their star players LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar Derozan.  Derozan would make a lot of sense as he is an impending free agent in 2020.

Brooklyn Nets with

Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets surprised many last year making it to the playoffs while expectations were remarkably low. The summer hit and in comes Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  With the additions of Irving and Durant the spotlight was now on Brooklyn. The Nets knew they would have to wait for the Durant debut, but they still had Kyrie.  

The disappointment has been the Nets with Kyrie.  The record is the first thing to stand out, 4-7 with Kyrie, 6-3 without Kyrie.  Over this Irving-less stretch, Brooklyn is 13th in net rating  per NBA.com, ranking 20th offensively and ninth defensively. In comparison, it was 20th overall in the first nine games with Irving, ranking 11th in offense and 25th in defense.  

The offense obviously was going to take a hit without Kyrie, but the defensive numbers and the progression of players is noticeable.  Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris and Jared Allen have all stepped up to become the focal points of the team. Kyrie is set to return from his shoulder injury in the next few games.  The Net’s have progressed as a full unit, will they continue their positive regression with the impending return of their star??  

Portland Trailblazers

The Blazers are fresh off a trip to the Western Conference Finals.   Coming into the season the rest of the West made improvements but the Blazers were still considered a legit playoff contender.  That has not come to fruition. Portland sits at 9-13 and that’s after winning 4 of their last 5.  

Why is Portland struggling?  

The Trail Blazers lost a lot of their depth over the offseason.  Jake Layman (Minnesota), Seth Curry (Dallas), Mo Harkless (LAC), Al-Farqou Aminu (Orlando), Meyers Leonard (Miami), Enes Kanter (Boston) and Evan Turner (Atlanta).  That is seven players are the Portland roster that had moved on to different teams. Team chemistry is an understated element of any successful team. Portland was now relying on a group of young players that haven’t developed into their roles.The biggest addition of the offseason was adding Hassan Whiteside to replace their rising star Jusef Nurkic.  Another new player to try and build chemistry with.  

Portland has seen the biggest impact to their changes on the defensive end.  They are ranking 24th in the league in defensive efficiency. An early season injury to Zac Collins has forced the Blazers hand to bring in Carmelo Anthony to help with on the offensive end.  This team has some young talent but it needs time to grow.

College Football Championship Weekend Picks ATS

Pac 12 – Oregon Ducks vs. Utah Utes -6.5

Does anyone remember when Utah was beat by USC?  That was all the way back on September 20th. The Utes have become a top ten team both offensively and defensively.  Utah QB Tyler Huntley has developed into a huge threat averaging 11.1 yards per attempt which has ranks him 3rd nationally. 

Oregon has to find a way to make stops as their defense vanished against better talent giving up big points to Washington, Washington State and Arizona State.  Oregon will have problems dealing with Huntley and Utah runningback Zack Moss.  

Justin Herbert will be running for his life against the Utah pass rush most notably Bradlee Anae. The Ducks have a verteran QB and a coach that has played these big games before.  I like Utah to win and Oregon to cover on a garbage time TD.

Pick: Utah wins, Oregon covers +6.5

Big 12 – Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners -9

To have a chance at the College Football Playoff both of these teams would need some help.  The Sooners have the best chance based on their placement at the moment. The Sooners have escaped multiple games over the last month and they have to come out and have a dominant performance on Saturday.  

Baylor came out and took care of business the last two weeks dominating Kansas and beating in state rival Texas. The Bears big play ability is scary for the leaky Oklahoma defense. Baylor is top twenty in the nation in yards per play averaging 6.56. Baylor will put up points, it’s whether or not they can force turnovers.  If Baylor is able to force mistakes from the Sooners they have a chance.

Oklahoma will have the services of CeeDee Lamb in the game, something they didn’t have in their prior matchup. That makes a dangerous offense even more explosive.  The Bear’s have only given up a shocking seven touchdowns this season. Those numbers will increase by a lot on Saturday. 

AAC – Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Memphis Tigers -10

I feel like I have seen this before.  Oh it was last week. Memphis was able to topple the Bearcats by ten in their first matchup.  Memphis was able to win but it was Cincinnati was able to cover the 14 point spread. 

The Bearcats may have a wrinkle in their scheme come Saturday as quarterback Demond Ridder may be able to suit up.  While he doesn’t have the arm strength of last Saturday’s starter freshman Ben Bryant, Ridder does bring a much more athleticism.  I look for Cincinnati to utilize both QB’s if available. That means Memphis is not going to see the same game plan they saw the week before. 

If Ridder plays I like the chances for Cincinnati, their defense has what it takes to win this game.

Pick: Cincinnati Upsets Memphis

SEC – Georgia Bulldogs vs. LSU Tigers -7

THIS IS YOUR MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING!!! It’s hard for me not to imagine someone saying that as these two teams take the field Saturday.  The entire landscape of the College Football Playoff could be changed by the outcome of this game.   

Joe Burrow has burst onto the scene throwing himself right in the middle of Heisman talk as well as a bright NFL future.  LSU has scored 36 points in all but one game this year. I can list off the Burrow’s statistics but they are pretty easy for anyone to find.  He will outplay the steady Jake Fromm on Saturday, with the help of a strong running game and the red hot Clyde Edwards-Helaire.  

Georgia will be the toughest test defensively for LSU.  The Bulldogs are just behind Clemson with 10.4 points per game this season.  As good as they are they will not be able to contain LSU for a full 60 minutes.  LSU and Georgia have played four similar foes this season with LSU putting up 183 points compared to Georgia’s 94.  This game could be interesting but I see LSU with too much firepower to handle. 

Pick: LSU wins, Georgia Covers

ACC – Virginia Cavaliers vs. Clemson Tigers -28.5

Is Virginia good? Not really.  Beating their rival Virginia Tech got them the chance to play spoiler for Clemson Tigers.  That means they get a chance to play tune up for the only ACC team worth anything this season.  Looking past just the stats Virginia has really only been great at times this season at home and with this being on a neutral site any advantage for Virginia is gone. 

Clemson is better on both sides of the ball. They win and cover with ease.

Pick: Clemson -28.5

Big 10 – Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers +17

There is only one way I see Wisconsin actually winning this game…..sorry  really thought I had something. Wisconsin hasn’t beat Ohio State since 2010. Wisconsin is one dimensional, they will need to use the run game to control the pace and keep the #1 ranked offense in the country off the field.   Ohio State will have all the motivation in the world to pour it on and insure themselves a shot at the #1 overall seed in the College Football Playoff.  

I would love to see Wisconsin make this a game, but they had their chance week nine when the weather fit their game plan.  Wisconsin has a puncher’s chance at best.  

Pick: Ohio State -17

NCAAB Picks ATS for Thanksgiving Season Record 25-13-1

NC State Wolfpack vs. Memphis Tigers

A matchup between two teams that are hanging out next to each other on the Kenpom ratings with the Wolfpack at 41 followed directly by the Tigers at 42.  

Memphis has won three straight since losing prized big man James Wiseman, they have done it by working the ball inside. Precious Achiuwa and DJ Jefferies carried the load against Ole Miss putting in 25 each.  Achiuwa and Jefferies will have a premier matchup as the Wolfpack have had their issues guarding the interior, allowing lesser competition to dominate them. 

NC State is lead by a great player in guard Markell Johnson.  Johnson is going to have to deal with some serious pressure from the Memphis defense which will force turnover which will lead to easy points that the Wolfpack won’t be able to make up for. 

Pick: Memphis Tigers ML

Davidson Wildcats vs Marquette Golden Eagles

Marquettes lone loss on the season came at the hands of Wisconsin who was able to control the pace of the game.  Davidson this season has not been able to hold down the pace of anyone, ranking near the bottom of division one in defensive efficiency.  Davidson just gave up 81 and 92 on back to back games against Wake Forest and Nevada, two teams that don’t bring the potential firepower that Marquette will.  

This game will come down to the easy factor of controlling the glass.  Marquette has a clear advantage lead be Theo John on the inside. This one could be close but the Golden Eagles have clear advantages. 

Pick: Marquette -3

St. Louis Cardinals Outfield – What will they do?

With Marcel Ozuna most likely gone for the 2020 season, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a tough situation.  Currently on their 40 man roster your options for replacements are somewhat limited or at the very least unproven at the major league level. What should the Cardinals do?  Let’s break it down. 

Outfield options on roster:

Harrison Bader

Lane Thomas

Dexter Fowler

Randy Arozarena

Tyler O’Neil

Jose Martinez

Justin Williams

Adolis Garcia

Tommy Edman

Yairo Munoz

I am going to eliminate the unrealistic options:

Justin Williams will not make the team without a ridiculous spring, he’s out.  

Adolis Garcia has power, 31 homers along with a .517 slugging percentage in AAA definitely stands out, but he has found himself behind Lane Thomas and Randy A, he’s out.

Tommy Edman and Yairo Munoz will be utility players on the roster.  Projected them as starters in the outfield is not an option (yet). They are out.

Jose Martinez is not a starter for any team in the National League.  You can only ignore his defense for small periods of time. He’s out.

Who has a chance:

Dexter Fowler has right field likely locked down.  While he wasn’t good in the playoffs Fowler was able to raise every offensive statistic.  He still sucked but the money is too much for him to not be slotted into the lineup going into spring training.  

Tyler O’Neil should be given the first chance to be the left fielder, you know what he brings to the table.  He is going to strikeout and he is going to hit dingers. O’Neil’s 40% k-rate is alarming to say the least but with O’Neil there is still major upside.  His hard hit rate from 2018-2019 ranks fifth in baseball behind guys like Christian Yelich, Aaron Judge, Alex Avila, Matt Olson and his most comparable player Joey Gallo.  O’Neil’s plate discipline is a problem, but his upside is undeniable. He should get the first chance but its not set in stone.

Center field for the 2019 Cardinals is going to be a competition of similar attributes.  Randy A, Harrison Bader and Lane Thomas are all viable candidates.  

Harrison Bader brings the most experience which is laughable as he doesn’t really bring much.  Bader’s defense is elite but a 29% strikeout rate in during 2019 with little power upside and an OBP of just .301 is not something the Cardinals can afford with a team that already has been deprived of offense with the potential loss of Ozuna.  

Lane Thomas played well when given the chance at the major league level last season.  His surprising power numbers over the last two seasons in triple A and the major league level is what garnered the attention of the front office.  Increasing his slugging percentage by nearly 100 points from 2017 to 2018 is a huge positive regression. Thomas will need a solid spring to win the job but he is a guy that has to be taken into consideration.

Randy Arozarena’s .453 OBP last season is the highest of the three potential candidates. Randy A has the lowest walk percentage of the three, while it’s not a huge difference it still shows that he is more reliant on putting the ball in play rather than taking pitches.  The Cardinals are in need of a leadoff hitter currently and Randy seems to be the likely option because, well he can hit. If he is able to make the roster, it would hopefully be in a starting capacity. There is no need to force him to the majors if he is not going to play.

Free Agent Options:

The Cardinals are never likely to make a free agent move of any prestige so I want to take out candidates like Yasiel Puig and Nick Castellanos  So what is left…nothing. The Cardinals will most likely go after a guy past his prime to compete for a spot on the roster. Names that come to mind are Cameron Maybin (33, 1.6WAR), Corey Dickerson (31, 1.0WAR) and Kole Calhoun (32, 2.5WAR).  All three of the aforementioned players would be nice bench assets but with a bench full of younger higher upside players it doesn’t make sense to reach for an outfielder with little upside. 

Conclusion:

As the roster stands right now I would like to see Fowler, Randy A and O’Neil in the outfield.  The Cardinals could be bold and make a move to add one of the premiere offensive free agents at third base (Anthony Rendon, Josh Donadlson) and put Tommy Edman in the outfield but that would not meet with the history of this franchise.  The Cardinals have questions in their outfield, it’s obvious they need to make a move. Dylan Carlson is coming so they are going to be patient and hope that one of their young players takes the next step.

NCAAF Picks

Syracuse Orange at Louisville Cardinal Total: 62.5

Both defenses are not good, ranking 83rd(Syracuse) and 103rd(Louisville) overall. These teams are going to be looking to move the ball and move it quickly.  

Syracuse seemed to find its offensive groove last week against Duke running for 286 yards dominating the Blue Devils and reminding us of what we thought the Orange could be.  The Orange have actually run 80 plays per game during the season which ranks them in the top five nationally. Syracuse has not been able to throw the ball the way that they had hoped but they should be able to move the ball against the Cardinals defense.

Louisville has become an offensive juggernaut over the last three weeks scoring 28, 27 and 34 over the last three weeks against better defensive units then Syracuse.  The Cardinal quarterback Micale Cunningham has averaged 12 yard per pass since the beatdown at the hands of Clemson four weeks ago.  

This game may not be flashy, but I see a lot of turnovers causing great field position that will lead to scores. These teams aren’t playing for much which should benefit the offenses. 

Pick: Over 62.5 

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Northwestern Wildcats +14

The Golden Gophers chance at the College Football Playoff is over.  PJ Fleck will not let that bother his team heading into a matchup with the offensively challenged Northwestern Wildcats. 

Minnesota has the 14th ranked total defense in the country.  Northwestern had problems running away from the UMass Minuteman until the second half.  For those who don’t know UMass is arguably the worst team in all of college football.  

The Wildcats will come out fired up in the first half being its final home game of the season.  They could keep things close…in the first quarter. The Golden Gophers running game will take over and Minnesota will coast to an easy victory.

 Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers -14

Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes -18.5 Total: 57

The Nittany Lions hold their fate in their hands.  If they are able to beat Ohio State on Saturday they will completely change the current landscape of the College Football Playoff. While that is nice to think about they have one big hurdle to jump. That hurdle is the dominant Ohio State Buckeyes who have shown no mercy to any team at any point during the season. 

Some will say that Penn State was exposed over the last two weeks.  While they haven’t played their best football they had tough matchups in a ramped up Minnesota team and an underrated Indiana team.  The Nittany Lions will come out focused and ready for a battle. But it won’t matter. Penn State Quarterback Sean Clifford has struggled over his last five games and he will have to deal with the built up frustration of Chase Young returning from a ridiculous two game suspension.  

This game will come down to whether or not Ohio State is able to establish JK Dobbins and the run game allowing for Justin Fields to open up and do Justin Fields things.  The problem for Penn State will be the Buckeyes have to many weapons to hold down. They have better talent and are coached better than Minnesota. Penn State should be able to put up some points but I don’t see them having much of a chance to stop Ohio State.  

Parlay Pick: Ohio State ATS and Over

Other Picks:

Mizzou -4

Philip Rivers Sucks


I’m going to start by saying that I am not bashing a guy coming off of a bad performance. He was horrible last night in tough conditions but his four interceptions last night is not what this is about.  If you follow me on Twitter I have been saying this for the last two seasons, Philip Rivers sucks! He is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the history of the league. He has now put his team in a situation where they are not ready to move on from him right away and if they don’t they will waste a roster that should be better than it is

Rivers was drafted 4th overall by the New York Giants in 2004, famously moved to San Diego for Eli Manning.  Rivers is currently the last remaining QB from that class starting for his respective team, Manning being benched for Daniel Jones and Big Ben getting injured earlier in the season.  Rivers has been a Hall of Fame caliber player in his career currently sitting sixth on the all time passing yards, sixth in passing touchdowns and tenth in passer rating. Sometimes you can’t look at the numbers when you are breaking down a QB.  In this era all passing numbers are inflated due to the changing of rules protecting offensive players. 

Rivers has continual lead his team to mediocre play.  From 2010 to 2017 the Chargers made the playoffs just one time. In Rivers entire career he has won just five total playoff games.  This season Rivers has arguably his most talented group of skilled players, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler and the returning Melvin Gordon.  Despite the talent on the offensive end Rivers has continued to make wild erratic throws that don’t benefit himself or his team. He has thrown seven interceptions in his last two games and all of them are on throws that he should not have made. 

Philip Rivers is an old unathletic quarterback with a track record of being good.  He is not good, he was never going to be a top player in this league coming into the season.  The league is changing and players like Rivers are the old guard. He is not like Tom Brady. He doesn’t have the game changing understanding of defenses and intelligence to make the right call on the fly.  The Chargers have too many talented skilled players to put up with this ridiculously horrible gunslinger.  

Philip Rivers is holding this team back, if you watched last night you saw a guy that lost the game for his team.  It’s time to move on from Rivers. It has been time to move on from Rivers for two years and they have not equipped themselves to do so.  The Chiefs saw that they were stagnant with Alex Smith and moved on. The Giants saw that Eli was declining and finally made the right move benching the guy that was not able to transition to the current state of the league.  Next season there are multiple QB prospects that will be coming through the draft, with the new stadium on the way on a team that is ready to compete now you can’t wait around.  

If you are looking for more statistical reasons for his awful play the link below will breakdown his situation statistics. The most shocking be that he has thrown six interceptions in the fourth quarter and six more in his first 1-10 throws of the game. He literally turns the ball over at the two most critical points of games!

http://www.nfl.com/player/philiprivers/2506121/situationalstats?season=2017

Rivers has had a great career, but let’s face the facts.  Philip Rivers Sucks.

NCAAF Picks ATS

Alabama Crimson Tide at Mississippi State Bulldogs +18

Alabama just lost. That means someone is going to have to take a beating.  Mississippi State has had problems all year against talented quarterbacks allowing four straight to compete 71% of their passes.  The Bulldogs don’t have the defensive front to pressure Tua Taguvailoa at all.  If Tua is allowed to sit in the pocket, the secondary will be getting their sprints in before next weeks practice. having to chase down the Crimson Tide receivers as they enter the end zone over and over again. I see Jerry Juedy going for 200 yards on Saturday.

This will be the most focused team in the country this weekend.  The Mississippi Bulldogs are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Shocking to me that this went from -21 to -18 .

 Pick Alabama -18

Massachusetts Minutemen at Northwestern Wildcats Total: 56.5

Northwestern can’t score. Averaging a shocking 11 points per game this season as well as the least efficient passing game in college football. Northwestern has only put up a total of 38 points over their last five games in total.  Obviously their inefficiencies were  against much stiffer competition, but I still can’t see a possible way that Northwestern puts up over 40 points in this game.  

A took a shot on Vandy/Florida game last week, assuming Florida would dominate but keep Vanderbilt off the board.  The difference here is I just can’t imagine Northwestern being able to put up the kind of points that they need to hit the over. 

Pick: Under 56.5

Oklahoma Sooners at Baylor Bears Total 67.5

Jalen Hurts has been better than his predecessors Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.  Seriously, look at the statistics 869 rushing yards and 24 throwing touchdowns.  Hurts has been everything Oklahoma could possibly want.  The problem will not be on the offense Saturday, the Sooners defense has shown an inability to stop competitive teams.  Iowa State  and Kansas State both put up 40 points against the Sooners offense. The Baylor Bears have been solid on offense this year ranking 26thin the nation in scoring, averaging 35.3 point per game this season.  

Baylor has hit the over at three of their four home games in this season and they should be able to move the ball enough put points on the board.  The Bears will put up a fight at home but the Oklahoma offense will be impossible to stop.  This game should be a shootout, this total is way to low.  Give me the over.

Pick: Over 67.5

Other Picks:

Florida -7

Memphis -10.5

West Virginia/Kansas State Under 47.5

Thursday Night Pick Steelers vs. Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns -3 

The Steelers have won four straight games propelling them into AFC playoff contention.   It’s been the defense that has taken the reigns with the loss of Big Ben and injury to James Conner. The Steelers defense has allowed fewer than 193 passing yards and 96 rushing yards over their last three games. Pittsburgh was able to bottle up the red-hot Cooper Kupp last week.  They will look to do the same to Odell Beckham. Beckham was targeted ten times last week but was still unable to make an impact in a game that Cleveland actually won. 

Cleveland’s offensive line has been solid on the run but has had serious problems protecting Baker in throwing situations. The Steelers are third in the league in sacks, while applying a ton of pressure.  Baker Mayfield has been subpar under pressure this season.  Mayfield has a completion percentage of just 37% while under pressure this season. Mayfield’s flaws are apparent, this matchup is not good for the struggling former #1 pick. 

Both of these teams need this win.  The Cleveland flaws are obvious.  Pittsburgh will be able to exploit those flaws while Mason Rudolph does what he does best: game manage.  Steelers are just a better overall team, most importantly better coaching. 

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers +3

The Cardinals should have moved on from Waino

Comeback stories are awesome.  Seeing a player that everyone had given up on overcoming their struggles to be successful is what makes for great sports stories.  Adam Wainwright was the feel-good story of the year for the St. Louis Cardinals. The ending of this story has been written and it’s time to move on.  

Adam Wainwright is a future Cardinals Hall of Famer. He will be fondly remembered by all that were able to watch his amazing career.  Closing out the World Series striking out Brandon Inge or maybe even more memorable his nasty curveball that finished off future teammate Carlos Beltran to get to that World Series will be embedded into Cardinals fans forever.  Memories are great but right now the Cardinals have to be looking to the future.  

Let’s go over his 2019 season.  Wainwright was one of the most effective pitchers down the stretch for the St. Louis Cardinals.  His 2.97 ERA in the months of September and October helped St. Louis win the division and perhaps overachieve by making it to the NLCS.  Wainwright’s overall numbers were solid, 14 wins, 2.2 WAR, 4.39 xFIP and 171 innings pitched. The Cardinal’s veteran pitched well enough to reach all of his incentives, making his contract worth $10 million.  His numbers at the end of the season paid for his price tag. 

The Cardinals need to add more pitching depth.  You have two young guys at the top of the rotation in Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson along with Miles Mikolas.  The rest of the rotation is a question mark. Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes are both having a problem staying healthy their entire careers.  Daniel Ponce De Leon seems to never be a part of the conversation. Austin Gomber had an injury derail his season. Jake Woodford and Genesis Cabrera are both not ready to be full time.  

I don’t believe the Cardinals will go all in on Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg there are a number of affordable arms that can bring upside for multiple years while you discover what you have with your young starters. Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Zack Wheeler Hyun-Jin Ryu, Michael Pineda and Dallas Keuchel are just a few of the names that will be available at a moderately affordable price.  

Let’s say the Cardinals don’t like the idea of giving up a compensatory pick.  That would eliminate Wheeler and Odorizzi. Let’s also say Dallas Keuchel still wants that big contract that he couldn’t find last offseason, the Cardinals won’t want to do that.  Why not make a call to Hyun-Jin Ryu. Just 33 years old, Ryu has a much bigger upside.  

The price for Wainwright’s return is fair.  All of the aforementioned free agent pitchers will cost you more than $5-million plus incentives.  I am not upset about the price, I am upset because we have seen the highest upside we will see from Wainwright and where did that get the Cardinals.  Making it to the NLCS is great, personally I think they overachieved based on the full season performance. The Cardinals have to focus on a new direction.  They have to move on from the players that have peaked. Adam Wainwright peaked in 2019. To expect Wainwright to not go through negative regression is overly optimistic.  You are giving away a rotation spot to a 38 year old that depends on location. It’s time to try something new, it’s time for the organization to make a move to change the consistency of mediocrity. The emotions of Wainwrights 2019 success have masked management’s eyes.  They are not seeing that it is time to focus on the future. Keeping Wainwright around to be a “mentor” to the young staff will stunt the progression of leadership that you need from a guy like Jack Flaherty.  

Wainwright will be back in 2020.  He may have a great season. When you look at the rotation though he will be at the top of the question marks.  Can he be what he was in 2019? Is that really what the fanbase wants? Isn’t it time to be better? I am not rooting against Wainwright. I am just ready to move on from his era.