I’m borrowing this from Lookout Landing. This is a mix of CHONE projections, some looks at FanGraphs and my knowledge of the NL Central. This is purely a gross estimate.  I know the Cardinals a whole lot more than I know about these other teams, so I could be off on some of these projections.

The whole point of this is: a.) fun. b.) to get a general idea of how the Cards project to do as the team stands right now. If I’m wrong on any of these estimates, feel free to tell me.

Cardinals
POS Player WAR POS Player WAR
C Molina 3 SP Wainwright 4
1B Pujols 7 SP Carpenter 4
2B Skip 1.5 SP Penny 2.5
3B Freese 1.75 SP Lohse 2
SS Ryan 2.5 SP Garcia 1.5
LF Craig 1.5 CL Franklin 0.5
CF Rasmus 2.5 Pen Assorted 1.75
RF Ludwick 2
Bench Assorted 1
TOTAL 22.75 16.25
Cubs
POS Player WAR POS Player WAR
C Soto 3.5 SP Dempster 3.5
1B Lee 3.5 SP Zambrano 3.25
2B Fontenot 1.5 SP Lilly 3
3B Ramirez 3.5 SP Silva 1.25
SS Theriot 2 SP Wells 2
LF Soriano 1.75 CL Marmol 1
CF Byrd 2 Pen Assorted 1.5
RF Fukudome 2
Bench Assorted 1
TOTAL 20.75 15.50
Brewers
POS Player WAR POS Player WAR
C Zaun 1.5 SP Gallardo 3.5
1B Fielder 5 SP Wolf 2.75
2B Weeks 2.5 SP Bush 1.75
3B McGehee 1 SP Parra 1.5
SS Escobar 2.5 SP Suppan 0.5
LF Braun 4 CL Hoffman 1
CF Gomez 2 Pen Assorted 1.75
RF Hart 2
Bench Assorted 1
TOTAL 21.5 12.75
Reds
POS Player WAR POS Player WAR
C Hernandez 2 SP Harang 3
1B Votto 3.5 SP Cueto 2.5
2B Phillips 2.75 SP Arroyo 2
3B Rolen 2.75 SP Bailey 2
SS Janish 1 SP Maloney 1.75
LF Dickerson 2 CL Cordero 1.25
CF Stubbs 2 Pen Assorted 1.75
RF Bruce 2.5
Bench Assorted 1
Total 19.5 14.25
Astros
POS Player WAR POS Player WAR
C Towles 2 SP Wandy 3.75
1B Berkman 3.75 SP Oswalt 3.5
2B Matsui 0.5 SP Norris 1.75
3B Feliz 1.5 SP Paulino 1.5
SS Manzella 0 SP Moehler 1
LF Lee 2.25 CL Lyon 0.75
CF Bourn 2.75 Pen Assorted 2
RF Pence 2.5
Bench Assorted 1
Total 16.25 14.25
Pirates
POS Player WAR POS Player WAR
C Doumit 2.25 SP Maholm 3.5
1B Clement 1.5 SP Morton 2.5
2B Iwamura 2.25 SP Duke 2
3B LaRoche 2 SP Ohlendorf 1.5
SS Cedeno 1 SP McCutchen 1.5
LF Milledge 1.25 CL Hanrahan 0.5
CF McCutchen 2.75 Pen Assorted 1
RF Jones 2
Bench Assorted 1.25
Total 16.25 12.5

Projected Wins
Cardinals 87
Cubs 84.25
Brewers 82.25
Reds 81.75
Astros 78.5
Pirates 76.75

With or without Matt Holliday, the Cardinals are favorites to win the division. They can thank Jim Hendry for some of that, his Silva-for-Bradley trade knocked the Cubs back a projected game and a half. Silva blocks Tom Gorzelanny and Byrd is fine, but he’s not quite Milton Bradley.

This is all the more reason for the Cardinals not to bid against themselves for Holliday’s services. They’re in a weak division. The Cubs are hamstrung by their current commitments. The Brewers are in shouting distance but still have a ways to go in cobbling together a pitching rotation. The Reds seem to have no clue. The Astros have no clue. And the Pirates are in a seemingly endless rebuilding effort. A few minor improvements could be all they need to do. Holliday would just ensure a full-blown massacre of the division next season, barring some pretty bad injuries.

Erik Manning

Erik became addicted to Cardinals baseball as a young lad growing up on the mean streets of O'Fallon, MO. He moved away to Tulsa to attend Bible College, where he met his wife, who talked him into moving to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also known as the Bermuda triangle of baseball. His dream is to see the MLB.tv blackouts end, and his other interests are theology and philosophy of religion. He is the parent of two young boys.

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One Response to “The NL Central, Quantified – Beta”

  1. [...] on this subject check out this article.)The excellent writers (Erik Manning and Steve Sommer) at Play a Hard Nine have projected the Cardinals at around a 87 win team without Matt Holliday, which is 3 wins above [...]

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