When your final game of the season comes on Halloween your team is doing something right. And when you can bring almost the exact same roster into the next season most people would expect you to be in a good position to make a similar run. Despite this, the St. Louis Cardinals are currently meandering around .500. With an organization with a high expectation of winning baseball and a well-stocked minor league system the Cardinals may be one of the biggest movers at the deadline.
The St. Louis offense excelled last season with runners in scoring position, a stat that carried them all year but let them down in the World Series. This season they are 19th in MLB in batting average wRISP. Players like Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta are well below their career averages.
The best way to counter bad hitting wRISP is hitting homers, and the Cardinals have no real power hitters. Peralta leads the team with 11 homeruns, and Matt Adams has caught fire in the last few weeks but the Cardinals still have the second fewest dingers in MLB. They are really missing the power of Carlos Beltran.
On the pitching side, the Cardinals have been everything you could ask for. They are sixth in baseball in ERA. That has been carried by the third best rotation ERA in MLB. Adam Wainwright has been masterful in nearly all of his starts, before injuring his shoulder, Michael Wacha was proving 2013 was no fluke and Lance Lynn has been going deeper into games. With Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia and Joe Kelly going down with injuries, the rotation is starting to be spread pretty thin.
The Cardinals have been unsuccessful in shaving games off of Milwaukee lead in the NL Central, but the last two times they made the playoffs as a wild card team they made it to at least the NLCS, so don’t expect any panic.