With changes to the MLB schedule for the 2023 season, each team will now play every other ballclub at least once during the year going forward.
This could affect several teams, as interleague play will become more frequent.
For a team such as the St. Louis Cardinals, who largely benefitted from playing in a weak NL Central division in 2022, this could pose some problems.
That’s not to say the Cardinals are doomed, but it will take more than just dominating NL Central opponents to reach the postseason in 2023.
On Twitter, one fan called out the front office, saying that it’s time for the team to stop viewing their divisional opponents as their true rivals, but rather focus on trying to compete with teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and Philadelphia Phillies.
It's time for the Cardinals to start looking at their rivals as the Dodgers, Braves, Phillies and Padres instead of the Brewers, Pirates, Reds and Cubs. Build to compete with those teams not to beat a weak central #stlcards
— Rinedog (@Rinedog1) November 30, 2022
Cards Fan Points Out True Rivals
This claim does have its points.
The Cardinals will more than likely be heavily favored to win the Central in 2023, especially with them expected to have a busy offseason.
But because the NL Central is a weak division, emerging as the top team will not be enough for them to regain their status as one of baseball’s powerhouses.
The Phillies are expected to spend big on Trea Turner, or one of the other high-profile shortstops.
The Braves, Dodgers, and Padres all have financial flexibility.
The same can be said for the New York Mets.
The Cardinals will rightfully have their sights set on an NL Central title, but focusing on beating the bigger market teams would be wise.