In 2023, the St. Louis Cardinals won 93 games and the National League Central title in the final seasons for franchise icons Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina. First-time manager Oliver Marmol was the youngest skipper in MLB at 35 years old.
But any hopes of a final run to glory for Molina and Pujols were quickly wiped out when the Phillies swept the Cardinals in two games in the NL Wild Card Round. St. Louis has lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
The Cardinals have two superstars that can lead a deeper playoff charge with 2022 National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who finished third in the MVP voting while winning his sixth Platinum Glove Award.
To replace Molina and round out a formidable trio with Goldschmidt and Arenado, St. Louis signed three-time All-Star catcher Willson Contreras to a five-year deal, and he further bolsters a lineup that also includes quality leadoff man Tommy Edman and some promising outfielders.
Brendan Donovan was a Gold Glove utility man as a rookie. But for the Cardinals to truly make a pennant push, they made need to add another top arm to a pitching rotation that 41-year-old Adam Wainwright once again anchors.
St. Louis has an excellent chance to repeat as NL Central Champs, but they will face some daunting competition in the postseason again.
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Cardinals Top Betting Odds 2023
Cardinals MLB betting odds are current as of Jan. 10th at 12 p.m. EST from Caesars Sportsbook.
- World Series Winners: (+2200)
- Win National League pennant: (+950)
- Win NL Central title: (-130)
- Win Total: Over 89.5 (-110) | Under 89.5 (-110)
The Cardinals rank 10th in World Series odds, 7th to win the National League pennant, and 1st in NL Central odds. Their season win total is the 8th-highest in MLB.
Expecting a run to a World Series title (+2200) or the NL pennant (+950) seems very unlikely without another premier starting pitching added at some point, especially against the NL East or NL West powers.
The NL Central crown (-130) will come down to a two-team race between St. Louis and Milwaukee, and while the Brewers may have better pitching, their lineup does not measure up. The Cardinals ranked fifth in MLB in runs scored and OPS and can be slightly improved with Contreras, while Milwaukee was 10th in both categories and may not be as formidable even though it added Jesse Winker, which was less of a splash move.
The projected win total is favorable for a team that has won 90 games in each of the past three full MLB seasons.
2023 MLB Futures Odds
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Cardinals Futures Bets 2023
Below you’ll find the top Cardinals futures bets for the 2023 season.
Cardinals Win Over 89.5 Games (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
The addition of Contreras, who has hit 20-plus homers in each of the last three full MLB seasons while posting a .349 OBP, was an impressive move to further strengthen the top of the lineup. Edman, who will lead off, had 32 steals and 13 home runs last season, and he paves an excellent path to Contreras, Goldschmidt, and Arenado behind him.
Miles Mikolas won 12 games while pitching 202.1 innings with a 3.29 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Wainwright had 11 wins with a 3.71 ERA, and Jordan Montgomery won six of his 11 starts with a 3.11 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. The bullpen had a 3.61 ERA last season and features ascending closer Ryan Helsley (19 saves in 23 opportunities), so the pitching staff should be good enough to help the Cardinals navigate past the projected win total.
Cardinals To Win NL Central (-130) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
This wager essentially comes down to evaluating whether the Cardinals will be better than the Brewers again, and I say St. Louis will repeat as division champs. Milwaukee can’t bank on a Christian Yelich return to superstar status, plus newcomers Winker and William Contreras aren’t enough to match the heart of the St. Louis batting order.
The Cardinals can’t equal the Brewers in terms of starting pitching, but they have even more offensive potential to push themselves ahead of the Brewers. Lars Nootbar showed considerable potential, hitting 12 homers from July through September, and a healthy Tyler O’Neill could possibly recapture his 2021 form (.286 with 34 HRs and 15 SBs).
There is still hope that Dylan Carlson can show the power and speed he showed off in the minors, and Juan Yepez hit 12 HRs in 253 at-bats last season. Top prospect Jordan Walker, who had 19 HRs and 22 SBs in 461 minor league ABs last year, can certainly crack the OF mix and he is a potential impact player for 2023.
St. Louis has enough established offense with a runway to more that clearly puts it ahead of Milwaukee.
Cardinals Player Prop Bets 2023
Paul Goldschmidt to win National League MVP Award (+1200) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Pujols was the last National League player to win the MVP award in consecutive seasons in 2008 and 2009, but we cannot bet against Goldschmidt having a shot to do it. It is actually possible that he could be better in 2023 if he finishes the season with a stronger push.
Last year, Goldschmidt led the NL in OPS (.981) and slugging percentage (.578) while hitting .317 with 35 homers and 115 RBIs. But he hit .253 with two home runs and nine RBI in September.
If you don’t think that Goldschmidt will start to decline at age 35, and I don’t see a reason to believe he will, then you can be confident that he will have a solid chance to repeat as NL MVP.
Cardinals Player Prop Bets 2023
Nolan Arenado to win National League MVP Award (+1000) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
If Goldschmidt does not win back-to-back MVP Awards, the Cardinals can still at least have consecutive winners from the same team. Arenado did not opt out of his contract with St. Louis in the offseason, and he will be committed to coming through with another big season.
Arenado hit .293 with 30 homers and a .533 slugging percentage last season. His wOBA of .381 ranked in the top 3 percent of MLB, according to Baseball Savant. When you combine the offensive numbers with his excellent fielding (10 consecutive Gold Gloves), it’s apparent that he can be a top MVP contender again.
How to Bet Cardinals Moneylines
Moneyline bets are a simple way of wagering on MLB games. All you need to do is pick the winner of the game, and you’ll win your bet.
The odds are quite easy to understand, too. For example, if the Cardinals are a (-200) favorite, you would have to bet $20 to win $10. If they’re a (+200) underdog, you can win $20 off a $10 bet.
These odds will change every day depending upon the Rays’ matchup, so there’s always an opportunity for value every step of the way.
How to Bet Cardinals Run Line
Run Line betting is another common way to bet on MLB games, and you’re probably already familiar with it. You may know it as how much a team is “picked by" to win.
If the Cardinals are 1.5 run favorites over the Cubs, the Run Line would look something like this: Cardinals -1.5 (-200) vs Cubs +1.5 (+200).
In this scenario, the Marlins would have to win by more than one run to cash your bet.
How to Bet Cardinals Over/Unders
If you’re unsure about the Cubs’ moneyline or run line on a given day, you can still place a bet on the Over/Under — or total — in the matchup.
Sportsbooks will set a line for how many combined runs they project will be scored. From there, you can bet on the Over or Under.
For example, if you believe in the Cubs’ offense and think it’ll be a high-scoring game, then you’ll want to take the Over. However, if it’s supposed to be more of a pitcher’s duel, you should go with the Under.