The St. Louis Cardinals were dead in 2011.
And then they rose. They rallied to win the wild card on the final day of the season. They beat the Phillies in the Division Series. They beat the Brewers in the NLCS. They rallied to win one of the greatest baseball games ever played and then won Game 7 to defeat the Rangers in the World Series.
When I did my NL Central position rankings, the Cardinals came in third. Cardinals fans don't appear to happy about that. But they will be counting on aging players like Beltran, Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal to remain healthy and productive. What will Wainwright bring to the table? Can Kyle Lohse repeat his career season? Will Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia respond after a long season and big workloads?
The Cardinals won 90 games in 2011. Factoring in the additions and the losses, I'll put the over/under at 89.5 wins for 2012. What do you think?