The St. Louis Cardinals have struggled this season to stay above .500 despite a potent offense. There might not be an easy fix to what has gone wrong this season.
The St. Louis Cardinals have the longest current streak of playoff appearances in baseball at the moment with five, including one World Series win (2011) and one World Series loss (2013). They have made the playoffs in 12 of 16 years. The Cardinals’ 11 World Series titles are the most in the National League.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs, 39-16 in the National League Central, are threatening to run away with the division. The Cardinals stand at 30-27 and third place in the division, a half game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. While they are 10 games out of the division lead right now, they stand just one half game out of the Wild Card before Monday’s games and in the first week of June, so no one is giving up on the playoffs.
The wild card format makes everyone a contender, especially a team with as much playoff experience as the Cardinals. With the team in playoff contention the trade deadline is always going to get a lot of attention for a team as high profile as the Cardinals. For a team as battle-tested as the Cardinals, they have had their early season struggles. Rotation anchors Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright have ERAs above five. Their five man rotation has taken every turn this season, which, in the age of pitcher arm injury, is quite remarkable.
We are only a third of the way into the season, but the stability is apparent. Better performance is needed, though. Their rotation ERA of 4.34 is a full two runs worse than the Cubs (2.33), whom they are chasing.
Next: What can the Cardinals do to catch the Cubs?