That Cardinals number really threw me. It's only because of great relief pitching that they even tied the Pirates projection. I'm thinking they finish a comfortable margin ahead of not only the Pirates, but the Brewers as well.
Yeah, this method does no favors for the Cardinals.
For one, there was discussion that the Cards' offensive projections were too conservative because a lot of their hitters are high BABiP types. ZiPS is slow to acknowledge BABiP as a skill and accordingly projects these players conservatively.
Secondly, Oscar Taveras (projected 2.6 WAR) isn't on their rough depth chart, though he will definitely contribute this year.
Finally, I think their rotation is better than projected. They have a lot of quality depth. Also, in my mind Kyle Lohse remains an option for them, since they're the only team that won't lose a draft pick for signing him.