The MLB is just over a quarter of the way done with its regular season, having played 41 games for most teams. The Cardinals are sitting pretty in first place with a record of 23-18 and in first place in the NL Central. Find out what the Cardinal’s overall grade a quarter through the season is right here!
The NL Central is the second closest division in terms of how far away first is from last place. The Pirates are only 5.5 games back of the Cardinals, with the Brewers, Reds, and Cubs all crowded in the middle. This year has been a very close year so far in terms of who is winning games.
The Cardinals have had their hot streaks and their cold streaks. The Cardinals started the year off with a winning streak of 4 games in early April and then followed that with a 3 game losing streak. They were able to rattle off 6 wins in a row from April 29th-May 5th. Currently, they have lost 3 of their last 5 contests and need to get a few wins against the Pirates.
The Cardinals have been overall in great shape all year. Fans and everyone involved in the organization seem to be enjoying the Cardinal’s success and the way they played. If the Cardinals can continue their solid play, they will be a scary team once the postseason arrives.
The Cardinals Big Bats Have Lived Up to the Standards
When you look at the St. Louis Cardinals on paper and see Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the middle of the lineup, you’ll assume they have won a lot of games. And that has been the case so far a quarter of the way through the season.
The trade of the offseason has paid off. Every team and fan of baseball came to an agreement that the Cardinals stole Nolan Arenado from the Rockies. Arenado has been phenomenal so far, hitting for .300, 9 home runs, and 28 RBIs. He has just started to hit his stride, homering in the past 3 games, all against the Padres. Arenado will terrorize teams come playoff time.
Paul Goldschmidt has been steady all year long. His average has not been phenomenal with it being just 2.48, but he has been able to hit 6 home runs and record 22 RBI’s. Goldschmidt’s presence in the lineup also allows guys like Tyler O’Neil and Harrison Bader to succeed. His numbers on offense will only get better as the season continues.
The Cardinals Lineup Has Been Threatening Throughout
The man behind the plate, Yadier Molina, has been destroying the ball a quarter of the way through the year. At age 38, the guy can still hit and effectively. He has 6 home runs on the year with 20 RBIs and batting .293. Yadi is having one of his best years offensively in a long time, and don’t even get me started on his defensive play.
A pleasant surprise for the Cardinal’s batting order this year has been Tyler O’Neill. O’Neill is only a .250 hitter so far this year, but he has 8 homers and 18 RBI’s for the Cards. He has already surpassed his total home runs last season and has been a threat to opposing pitchers all year. Oh, and the guy is a MONSTER in the weight room.
Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, and Harrison Bader are all slashing over .265 and have been big contributors to the Cardinal offense as well. Edman and Carlson usually are hitting in the one and two spots and have done a good job getting on base for the middle of the lineup. Bader has also been a great player to have hit in the 7 hole.
The Pitching and Defense For the Cardinals Has Met Expectations
Jack Flaherty has been superb to start the season off. He has a 7-0 record and a 2.47 record. He is up there as a front runner to be the Cy Young winner with guys like Jacob Degrom and Clayton Kershaw. If he can continue his success, the Cardinals have a true ace in Flaherty.
The rest of the staff has played alright to start the season. Adam Wainwright, John Gant, Kwang Hyun Kim, and Carlos Martinez have all put up good enough numbers for this club to be first in the division.
On the defensive side, when you add a guy who has won 8 Gold Glove awards in a row, your defense is bound to get better. The Cardinals have always played great defense, and this year is no different. The Cardinals are currently 10th in the majors for fielding percentage. They have many great plays so far this season that have helped out their pitchers tremendously.
The infield has been playing very well with the likes of Arenado and Goldschmidt on the corners. Edman and Dejong, when healthy, have been a great pair up the middle when Dejong was healthy. The outfield consists of Tyler O’Neill, Dylan Carlson, and Harrison Bader, who can all track down fly balls with the best of them.
I would give the Cardinals an overall grade of an A-.