St. Louis Cardinals 2020 Fantasy Baseball Preview
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From a real-life perspective, the St. Louis Cardinals had a great 2019 season. They won the NL Central, reached the NLCS, and only lost to the eventual World Series Champion Washington Nationals. From a fantasy perspective, their results were… sporadic. Potential stars like Matt Carpenter, Marcell Ozuna, and even Paul Goldschmidt should have been staples in fantasy lineups, but their production was either spotty or altogether non-existent. On the flip side, players like Tommy Edman and Kolten Wong were much better than advertised.
So, what did St. Louis do to improve heading into 2020? Not much. The Cardinals are banking on young talent to make up for the loss of Marcell Ozuna and get them back to their 2019 level. That could turn St. Louis into a make-or-break team for fantasy owners.
You can find all of our 2020 fantasy baseball MLB team previews here.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 Cardinals from a fantasy perspective:
|6||Tommy Edman||2B, 3B, SS, OF|
- Better in OBP formats: Matt Carpenter
- Worse in OBP formats: Tommy Edman
- Better than his ADP: Kolten Wong (220)
- Worse than his ADP: Paul DeJong (189)
- Bench bat worth rostering: Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill
- Player most likely to lose a starting spot: Dexter Fowler
Quick Notes: Whether Tommy Edman begins the year at the top of the lineup or not shouldn’t matter. He’ll be there most of the season and is worth his ADP. Dylan Carlson and Tyler O’Neill are both players to take a late-round flier on. Dexter Fowler, Harrison Bader, and Matt Carpenter can’t be counted on for production, while Carlson and O’Neill could both easily be top-30 outfielders if given the at-bats.
- Better than his ADP: Kwang-Hyun Kim
- Worse than his ADP: Dakota Hudson
- Starter least likely to stick in the rotation: Adam Wainwright
- Non-starter most likely to enter the rotation: John Gant
Quick Notes: One name you don’t see here is Miles Mikolas who has been battling an elbow injury. Essentially, the Cardinals have the old “six starters for five spots” conundrum. Kwang-Hyun Kim was already proving in spring to be too good to take out of the rotation, so Wainwright, Mikolas, and Hudson might end up playing musical chairs all season.
- Projected closer: Giovanny Gallegos (Job Security: MEDIUM)
- Top backup: John Gant
- Premier holds option: John Gant
- Sneaky holds option: John Brebbia, Junior Fernandez
Quick Notes: The longer the season gets pushed back, the better chance flamethrower Jordan Hicks has of returning. The Cardinals won’t rush Hicks back regardless, but if Gallegos were to struggle throughout the first beginning of the year, Hicks would be a great name to watch.
- Relevant in 2020: Dylan Carlson, Lane Thomas
- Worth a look for 2021 and beyond: Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, Ivan Herrera
- Don’t believe the hype: Andrew Knizner
Quick Notes: While it will be interesting to see if Gorman and Liberatore remain in St. Louis’ system past the 2020 trade deadline, both have the chance to be big-time contributors as soon as 2021.
Other Helpful Fantasy Info
Park Factor: 91 (league average is 100)
Green Light Rating: HIGH
Likeliest 2020 roster moves: Dexter Fowler will not remain in the starting lineup all season, paving the way for Dylan Carlson and/or Tyler O’Neill to start. The Cardinals also seemed poised to eventually make the move for Nolan Arenado as soon as the Rockies realize they will not be in contention. Something like Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, and a major leaguer could realistically get the job done. The outlook and layout of the 2020 season could play a huge impact on this trade, however.
Bold Fantasy Prediction: Tyler O’Neill will hit 40 home runs for St. Louis. He has the power and talent if he can get the playing time and cut down on strikeouts.
Bland Fantasy Prediction: Matt Carpenter will hit a boring .240, but he won’t bottom out like last season. Why is that noteworthy? The Cardinals will refuse to bench the subpar Carpenter and block Tommy Edman, Tyler O’Neill, and Dylan Carlson from all three playing at the same time together.