Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com ranked his top ten lineups heading into the 2013 season, and put the Cardinals at third on the list. From his rankings:
The Redbirds’ lineup includes five guys — Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and David Freese — who finished in the NL’s top 20 in OPS last season, more than any other club. Craig is going to be a stud. Three players who entered 2012 with less than two years of service time finished the season among the top 10 in runs created per 27 outs. The first two were Mike Trout and Buster Posey, as you might have guessed, and the third was Craig (or as I like to call him, “The Wrench”). You can put the Brewers and Cards in any order you choose. I’m giving the Cards the slightest of edges because of their depth.
The stat that everyone loves to throw around is that the Cardinals had five players who hit over 20 HRs and 75 RBIs. A while back, Buster Olney wrote how the Cardinals truly have an American League lineup in the National League. They have a rare combination of a lineup who truly does both get on base an awful lot and can hit for power at the same time. Though they have officially lost Lance Berkman and no one really knows the kind of production that we will get from Carlos Beltran in 2013, you have to feel good about the Cards’ lineup, one that scored 765 runs in 2012, only second in the National League to the Milwaukee Brewers, who scored 776 runs.