It’s been a decade of differing highs and lows for the Show Me State’s two MLB franchises. The Kansas City Royals won it all in 2015 before entering a seven-year slump. The St. Louis Cardinals did the same in 2011, only to continue that hot streak by continually making the postseason.
Another constant is that there has been no legal Missouri sports betting on either team.
There are moves to have that change, hopefully soon, with a new bill passing the state House last week and now headed to the Senate for debate.
With both Missouri teams slated to kick off their 2023 MLB seasons this week, it’s worth pondering whether the state’s western franchise can make it back to the postseason for the first time in eight years and whether its eastern rivals can continue their NL Central dominance in the year ahead.
There was a 28-win split between the two clubs a season ago, with St. Louis posting a 93-69 record, while Kansas City wallowed through a 65-97 campaign in which they finished last in the AL Central for the second time in five years.
With the Royals slated to open the 2023 campaign at Kaufman against the Twins and the Cardinals playing the Blue Jays at Busch Stadium on Thursday, now is the time to look ahead.
BetMissouri.com broke down both clubs’ preseason odds, provided by BetMGM Sportsbook, on the eve of the 162-game gauntlet that is the league’s regular season.
Preseason Odds for Cardinals, Royals
- +2000 World Series (T-10 with TB)
- +900 NL (6th)
- -125 NL Central (1st)
- O/U 89.5 wins (-110)
- +20000 World Series (T-24th with DET/PITT)
- +10000 AL (T-13th with Detroit)
- +3000 AL Central (last)
- O/U 69.5 wins (-110)
Outlook Entering Regular Season
It’s of little surprise given the way each team has played over the last half-decade that the Cardinals enter the 2023 season with much rosier odds than the Royals. The Cardinals look to capture their sixth division title since 2013.
With franchise stalwarts Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina hanging up their spikes, the Cardinals will need to find a new top-end starter and everyday catcher in 2023, likely turning to veterans Jack Flaherty and Wilson Contreras to fill both spots.
Flaherty excelled during the team’s spring training run, leading the team in innings pitched (19.1), with 15 strikeouts and seven walks in five starts. Contreras picked up 13 hits in 37 at-bats (.351), with five RBI and three doubles.
Another starting pitcher to keep an eye on, based off his spring training performance, is veteran Steven Matz, who posted a 1.53 ERA across 17.2 innings, with 17 Ks to three walks.
Across the state, the Royals bring back cornerstone catcher Salvador Perez, who has been with the club for 12 years, bashing 223 home runs and a 32.3 WAR for the club.
Aside from Perez, the Royals will be leaning on their youthful core in 2023, with top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. looking to follow up a fourth-place finish in the 2022 AL Rookie of the Year award race to spearhead a revival of fortunes in Kansas City.
Second baseman Michael Massey led the team in most offensive categories during spring training, with five home runs and 13 RBI. Outfielder Kyle Isbel led K.C. with 17 hits during their Cactus League contests.
All of them will be counted on to carry Kansas City back to the postseason in 2023, as the Royals look to snap an eight-year drought.