Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Fantasy outlooks: St. Louis Cardinals

  •  

Listen to our latest Fantasy Baseball Podcast!

As late as Aug. 13 last year, the Cardinals were in sole possession of first place, but a 21-27 record down the stretch spoiled an otherwise promising season.

Starting pitching, which had been a strength for most of the season, was unreliable over the final weeks, as even aces Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter went through rough stretches. The lineup, featuring fearsome Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the middle of the order, held up its end of the bargain throughout the year. Pujols didn't quite meet his usual standards of production, but he still finished second in the National League in OPS with a 1.011 mark, just behind Joey Votto. Holliday, in his first full season in St. Louis, chipped in with a .312 batting average, 28 home runs and 103 RBI.

With the signing of Lance Berkman to handle right field as the team's major offseason move, the Cardinals are hoping that the squad that finished five games off the Reds' pace in the NL Central last year can get them back into the postseason in 2011. They do get a minor offensive upgrade at shortstop, replacing Brendan Ryan with Ryan Theriot, but otherwise, the Cardinals will rely on improved health and statistical rebounds to work their way back to a playoff berth. The team will look to have third baseman David Freese and fifth starter Kyle Lohse around for a full season as they recover from injuries. Skip Schumaker will try to jump start the offense from the top of the order, attempting to bounce back from a down year, and Yadier Molina will also hope to rebound from a low on-base percentage (.329).

Perhaps the X-factor for the Cardinals is 24-year-old Colby Rasmus, who improved vastly over his 2009 rookie season, but suffered from inconsistency and a tumultuous relationship with manager Tony LaRussa. With another step forward, Rasmus could give the Cardinals a formidable bat to further protect Pujols and Holliday in the batting order.

One thing LaRussa won't have to worry about is his bullpen. Closer Ryan Franklin has been a steady ninth-inning presence over the last three seasons but should he falter, they have good fallback options in Jason Motte, Kyle McClellan and Mitchell Boggs.

With Pujols, Holliday, Wainwright and Carpenter, the Cardinals don't lack for high-end Fantasy talent, but they have plenty of good complementary pieces, too. The ability of players like Berkman, Molina and Rasmus to play to their potential is critical to St. Louis' success this season, and it could be for many Fantasy owners as well.

Sleeper ... Jaime Garcia, SP

After sneaking his way into the fifth starter's spot in spring training last year, no one could have been more of a sleeper than Rookie of the Year candidate Garcia. This year he is more of a known quantity, but the lefty could still surprise many owners. Pitching coach Dave Duncan loves ground ball pitchers, and Garcia is a good one. He not only avoids the long ball, but he is a better bat-misser than other groundballers like Tim Hudson and Trevor Cahill. Garcia finished sixth in the majors in ERA (2.70) last season, but contrary to the perception of many, Garcia could have many more ERA leaderboard appearances in his future. He could perform like a No. 3 Fantasy starter in mixed leagues, but because more than a few owners will expect a serious dropoff, you can draft him later.

Follow us on ...
Get the latest news and analysis from the most informed Fantasy staff in the industry by following us on Twitter and Facebook.
@cbsfantasynews
facebook.com/cbssportsfantasy

Breakout ... David Freese, 3B

With just four homers in 240 at-bats, Freese's rookie season power output was a disappointment. After all, this was the same player who knocked 26 taters in his first season at Triple-A after having been skipped over Double-A. Last year he had surgery on both ankles, which have bothered him over the past two seasons. He is expected to be ready for the start of the season, and he still has the potential to deliver around 20 home runs with a batting average near last season's .296. That's solid mixed-league production, but he is likely to be available in the late rounds.

Bust ... Ryan Theriot, SS

That whistling noise you hear is the sound of Theriot's on-base percentage falling off a cliff. After completing the 2008 season with a .387 mark, he has finished the last two years at .343 and .321. His batting average has dropped along with his line drive rate, and he has also become less patient, drawing fewer walks. In spite of making fewer visits to the basepaths, Theriot has maintained his status as a 20-steal threat, but without a better batting average and on-base percentage, that isn't enough to make him rosterable in standard mixed leagues, even in Rotisserie formats.

St. Louis Cardinals Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Skip Schumaker 2B 1 Adam Wainwright RH
2 Ryan Theriot SS 2 Chris Carpenter RH
3 Albert Pujols 1B 3 Jaime Garcia LH
4 Matt Holliday LF 4 Jake Westbrook RH
5 Colby Rasmus CF 5 Kyle Lohse RH
6 Lance Berkman RF Alt Miguel Batista RH
7 Yadier Molina C
Bullpen Breakdown
8 David Freese 3B CL Ryan Franklin RH
Top bench options SU Jason Motte RH
R Allen Craig OF RP Kyle McClellan RH
R Jim Edmonds OF RP Trever Miller LH
R Nick Punto 3B/SS RP Mitchell Boggs RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2010 high Destination
1 Shelby Miller 20 SP Class A Double-A
Zipped through the Midwest League with few problems, but won't get to St. Louis until next year at the earliest.
2 Zack Cox 21 3B Rookie Class A
2010 first-rounder held his own in the Arizona Fall League. Gets his first real minor league test this year.
3 Lance Lynn 23 SP Triple-A Triple-A
Struggled in his first tour of Triple-A, but still the team's best arm in the upper minors. Could debut in '11.
4 Carlos Martinez 19 SP Rookie Class A
Probably still at least two years away from the majors, but mid-90s fastball could speed his path.
5 Daniel Descalso 24 3B Majors Majors
Good contact hitter who should see some time in a utility role this year.
Best of the rest: Tyrell Jenkins, SP; Eduardo Sanchez, RP; Seth Blair, SP; Jordan Swaggerty, RP; Joe Kelly, RP; Matt Carpenter, 3B; Oscar Taveras, OF; Deryk Hooker, SP; Adam Reifer, RP; Cody Stanley, C; John Gast, SP; Tommy Pham, OF; Trevor Rosenthal, SP; Nick Longmire, OF; Blake King, RP; Bryan Anderson, C; Steven Hill, C; Daryl Jones, OF; and Robert Stock, C.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Team outlooks in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Clayton Kershaw goes eight strong for win No. 15
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:10 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw had a no-hitter going against the Padres until the sixth inning. The ace surrendered his first hit to opposing starter Tyson Ross.

Kershaw went eight innings strong for the win at home on Thursday, improving to 15-3 on the year. The southpaw permitted one run on three hits and two walks while striking out 10 in a 2-1 victory. Of his 103 pitches, 69 were strikes. He improved to 15-3 on the year, matching Johnny Cueto, Wily Peralta and Adam Wainwright for the major-league lead in victories. 

Over his last three starts covering 25 innings, Kershaw has allowed five earned runs. He has gone eight-plus innings in seven of his last nine starts. He owns a 1.82 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP over 21 starts (153 1/3 innings). He will make his next start Wednesday at Arizona.

Kenley Jansen slams door shut on Padres
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:07 am ET) Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out two and worked past a walk in a scoreless ninth inning for the save Thursday night at home against the Padres. Jansen has converted 36 of 40 save chances, with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP over 52 1/3 innings of relief.

Tyson Ross goes the distance in losing effort
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:59 am ET) Padres pitcher Tyson Ross tossed a complete game but took a tough-luck loss to the Dodgers Thursday night, dropping to 11-12 on the season. The right-hander permitted two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out eight over eight innings of a 2-1 defeat.

Ross is 0-4 with a 2.67 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 27 innings pitched against the Dodgers this season. The offense has only backed him with two runs over that span. He'll look to bounced Tuesday at home against Milwaukee.

Travis Wood suffers 11th loss of the season
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:53 am ET) Cubs pitcher Travis Wood took the loss Thursday night at home against the Giants, dropping to 7-11 on the season. The left-hander permitted four runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out six over six innings of a 5-3 defeat.

Over his last two starts covering 11 1/3 innings, Wood has allowed seven earned runs. He owns a 4.91 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP over 26 starts (150 1/3 innings). He will look to bounce back Wednesday in Cincinnati.

Jason Heyward scores two runs Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:50 am ET) Braves outfielder Jason Heyward scored two runs Thursday against the Reds.

Heyward singled twice during the game. He would come around to score in the third inning on a Justin Upton hit, and again in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly. Heyward finished 2 for 4, with two runs scored and one RBI. 


Santiago Casilla closes out Cubs
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:47 am ET) Giants reliever Santiago Casilla struck out two and worked past a hit for the save Thursday night against the Cubs. He needed only 15 pitches to complete a scoreless inning. He has converted 11 of 14 save chances, with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP over 45 1/3 innings of relief.

Madison Bumgarner fans season-high 12 in win over Cubs
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:45 am ET) Giants starter Madison Bumgarner twirled a gem Thursday night against the Cubs, striking out a season-high 12 for the win, improving to 14-9 on the season. The left-hander pitched seven strong innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk. Of his 116 pitches, 79 were strikes.

Bumgarner has struck out nine-plus in three of his last four starts. Over that span covering 22 innings, he has allowed seven earned runs. He owns a 3.17 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over 27 starts (176 innings). His next start will come Tuesday at home against Colorado.

Buster Posey shrugs off injury concern with four-hit game
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) Giants catcher Buster Posey shrugged off any injury concerns, reaching base five times Thursday night at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

Posey doubled in the third, homered in the fifth, singled in the seventh and doubled again in the ninth. He finished the game 4 for 4 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI in a 5-3 victory.He is hitting .284/.345/.438 with 14 homers and 59 RBI over 425 at-bats.

Derek Holland could start Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:26 am ET) Rangers pitcher Derek Holland could make his first start of the season Thursday against the Mariners, according to the Dallas Morning News

Holland was able to go 87 pitches during his most recent rehab start. Following the game, he declared himself ready to pitch in the majors. The club will need a fifth starter Tuesday with Yu Darvish sidelined. Holland is being considered for that start. 

Holland has been sidelined the entire season after having offseason surgery on his knee. 


Justin Upton drives in three
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:03 am ET) Braves outfielder Justin Upton drove in three runs Thursday against the Reds.

Upton singled in two runs in the third inning, and drove in another on a sac fly. He finished 2 for 3, with one run scored and three RBI. Upton also walked during the contest. 


 
 
 
Rankings