Cardinals Long Way From Reaching Preseason Sportsbook Expectations

Cardinals Long Way From Reaching Preseason Sportsbook Expectations
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

It’s still early in the Major League Baseball season, with the calendar just past Memorial Day. But as far as out-of-the-gate busts are concerned, the St. Louis Cardinals are league leaders and not in a good way.

One could say that the Redbirds have disappointed observers almost as much as the state legislature did when it again failed to pass a Missouri sports betting bill in 2023.

The Cardinals, winners of 93 games in the regular season in 2022 but swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card round of the postseason, were expected to wear their usual mantle as a National League contender this season. But the mighty Cards have sputtered badly in the campaign’s first two-plus months.

Unusual Position For Cardinals

Going into Thursday, when the Cardinals were idle, they were in the uncustomary position of being in the cellar of the NL Central at 26-37. To illustrate how unusual that is, consider this: The Cardinals have had just one sub.-500 season this century, back in 2007.

At their current pace, this year’s Cardinals would finish 67-95. The would be the worst season St. Louis has had since (wait for it) 1919 when a deadball era Cards team won just 54 of 138 games. That came on the heels of a season when the Cards were the NL’s worst team in 1918 – the last time that happened.

However, back to 2023, the preseason over-under win total for the Cardinals was 85.5. That wasn’t a bad number considering the Cardinals had won at least 90 games in each of the last three full MLB seasons (in 2020, a season shortened by COVID-19 restrictions, they were 30-28).

This year’s edition of the Redbirds was only marginally older, by a few months on average, than the 2022 Cards who won 93 games.

St. Louis Cardinals Betting Odds

Well, St. Louis’ precipitous decline in fortunes is hardly lost on any Cardinals’ backers who may have taken the “over” on the season’s 87.5-win total – of course they would have to cross the border to place those wagers because there are no Missouri betting apps. To hit the “over” number, St. Louis needs to go 62-37 though the end of the season, a .626 pace.

The trip to the bottom of the NL Central was also painful for Cardinals bettors who might have been wagering on St. Louis game-to-game.  In the hypothetical moneyline standings, the Cards are nearly minus-$1,400 so far on a typical $100-per-bet basis.

However, there could be a sliver of hope for Cardinals’ diehards.

If residents could take advantage of a BetMGM Missouri bonus code, they could get the Cards at +5000 to win the World Series. That’s a radical change from their preseason expectations of +1700.

And those St. Louis diehards can look back to the “Rally Squirrel” season of 2011 for inspiration.

Precedent For St. Louis Turnaround

Scuffling through an up-and-down summer that year, the Cardinals went into September with a 4.3% chance of making the playoffs. Of course, history books tell us that they qualified as a wild card on the last day of the regular season. They then survived a playoff series against the powerful Phillies (marked by a Busch Stadium appearance by Rally Squirrel), and they went on to win the World Series in seven games against the Texas Rangers.

And yes, someone did cash in big with some perfectly timed September bets when the Cards were 999-1 to win the World Series. The two wagers – one to win the NL pennant and another to win the World Series for $250 each – paid a total of $375,000.

So, just maybe, it’s a little premature to say that the 2023 Cardinals aren’t still good for some winning bets. And if the legislature brings a legal, regulated market to fruition, folks in the Show-Me State can use Missouri sports betting promo codes to bet on (or against) the Cardinals.



Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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