What If: The St. Louis Cardinals Were Two Teams by filihok December 18, 2013 Much has been made of the Cardinals’ amazing depth and seeming ability to pull All-Star-caliber players from their minor leagues at will. In today’s FanGraphs After Dark chat with Paul Swydan I asked what place in the NL Central the Cardinals would finish in were they to be forced to field two separate (but equal) teams in 2014. Swydan’s answer: Probably third and fourth. They’re not THAT good. Maybe even lower than that. It’s an interesting question. Well, I too thought it was interesting and decided to try to find out. I looked at the Oliver projections for the Cardinals and tried to divide them into equal teams. Then I did my best (well, my most efficient, it is 9 at night) to divide up playing time equally between both teams. STEAMER projections assume 600 PA’s for all position players so I prorated each player’s WAR projection for the number of PA’s that I estimated (I tried to stick to 600 PA’s for each position – too much work to do otherwise). For pitchers I used Oliver’s projected number of starts for starters and innings pitched for relievers to make sure that both teams were equal. I didn’t do any prorating for pitchers. I wanted to, but that started to look like more work than I was willing to put in right now — and I was sort of worried that Paul would do his own post on this, so I wanted to beat him to the punch. There weren’t quite enough players projected for the Cardinals so for the missing positions I just assumed a replacement-level player. These were the teams and their projected WAR totals that I came up with. So each team was at about 25 .5 WAR. How about the rest of the NL Central? For this I just looked at the STEAMER projections since they already adjust playing time and I didn’t want to have to do it for each team. This is what STEAMER had for the other NL Central teams: Pirates 34.5 WAR Reds 30.5 WAR Brewers 27.6 WAR Cubs 26.9 WAR So, our Cardinals teams look like they’d finish just behind the rest of the NL Central, but it’s close enough that we can say that the Cardinals might literally be twice as good as the Cubs and Brewers.