Cardinals face favorable schedule down the stretch


Sorry for the extended break to my die-hard readers out there (if there are any). I took two weeks off while I was vacationing in Hilton Head with my family, which was heavenly, then had two weeks of football camp at DePauw University, which was the exact opposite of heavenly. It has been hard for me to find time to write, let alone even watch the Cardinals during this time. Hopefully, as school gets back into the swing of things, I’ll be able to carve out more time to write.

But how are those Cardinals doing? Miraculously, the Cardinals still find themselves in a position to take the N.L. Central from the Brewers even though they have simply been in a grind of a season. Nothing has come easy to the Cardinals this season, a season that many predicted for the team to waltz right back into the World Series. Injuries to Yadier Molina and Michael Wacha have crushed the team, the inability of the offense to find its 2013 groove, and the suddenly scary decline of ace Adam Wainwright in the second half have all caused this Cardinal team to not lead up to its expectations.

Yet, as we enter September, the Cardinals are still within striking distance with an interesting set of games to finish off the season. Including the three games against the Pirates earlier this week, the Cardinals are in a heavy N.L. Central stretch. The Cardinals are playing 18 straight games against their division foes, and 27 of their next 33 overall against the Central. The Rockies and Diamondbacks make up the remaining six games, a favorable draw against the lower N.L. West teams.

Cardinal fans should be jumping for joy when looking at how the Cardinals close out the season. St. Louis has dominated the Central, posting a record of 31-21 against the division. Their ten games over .500 is the most in the division with the Reds coming in second as they sit six games over .500. In fact, Baltimore is the only MLB team that is more games over .500 against its division than the Cardinals, as they have a 33-20 record against the A.L. East.

If the Cardinals can continue their stellar play against their rivals, the team should be well positioned to make the playoffs. St. Louis will also get a couple more cracks at Milwaukee as they face the Brewers seven more times. Of course, there is always the possibility that teams like Chicago and Cincinnati will play spoiler to the Cardinals playoff hopes. St. Louis will try to avoid that as they kick off a three game series against Chicago on Friday.