I brought this up on the podcast we recorded today -- which is probably online now -- that people around the league look at this team and say, Tarasenko, Neal, Parayko are all on downward arcs, the defense wasn't great last season and returns pretty much the exact same group of people (minus Dunn and Gunnarsson) and the goalie has been average. If you don't think these guys are going to get better -- and that's not an unreasonable expectation -- then the season could be rough.
Now, whether people who follow the team day in and day out have a more reasonable expectation that Parayko and Tarasenko will play better, as will Krug and some other guys, or people here are just blindly optimistic, that could be why people here think their chances are better.
But one other thing: All of these projections that I've seen have a very, very tight Central Division. The Blues may be picked fifth by some, but they're two or three points out of third or fourth and a playoff spot. That's one more win for the Blues out of 82 games and one more loss for the other team. It's not like people are picking the Blues as an 85 point team.