Are the St. Louis Cardinals MLB’s best team?
Off to their best start in 71 years, the St. Louis Cardinals have an impressive 18-6 record, which leads the majors and a comfortable lead on top of the NL central after 24 contests. The question that comes to mind is are the St. Louis Cardinals MLB’s best team?
For all the talk about how great the St. Louis Cardinals pitching is (2.21 ERA, major-league best), it has been the timely hitting over the past week that has them sitting at 4.5 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs to lead the NL central.
Speaking of the Cubs, they visit Busch Stadium starting tonight, to begin a 4 game series. Tonight’s starters for game 1 include Travis Wood who will be opposed by Carlos Martinez.
Wood is off to a solid start with a 2-1 record and 3.04 era in 23.2 innings covering 4 starts. The St. Louis Cardinals historically struggle with lefties at times but the way they have been swinging lately and the fact Wood isn’t overpowering, they have a solid chance.
Carlos Martinez in his own right is off to a good start as well with a 3-0 record, 1.73 era and .185 opponents batting average. The probables for the rest of the series are found below…
Tyler Lyons vs. Kyle Hendricks
Lance Lynn vs. John Lester
John Lackey vs. Jake Arrieta
Mike Matheny and the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping for strong starts at least the next couple of days to allow the bullpen to rest, especially closer Trevor Rosenthal.
Yesterday, Rosenthal pitched for the 3rd time in 4 days and gave up a game-tying homerun in the ninth to Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Jung Ho Kang. During the St. Louis Cardinals 6-game winning streak, they have been getting great contributions from many in their lineup.
Early MVP candidate Matt Carpenter hit his 4th homer of the season yesterday, which leads the club along with is 14 extra base hits which leads the big leagues.
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Kolten Wong hit a mammoth home-run yesterday to win the game in extras and upped his average to .294, and Matt Adams has started to find his swing with a .309 average and 3 hr which is second on the team.
For Wong, he was looking for something to drive to help the team win yet another game late. Wong told mlb.com‘s Joe Harris,
"“I was sitting there waiting for something I knew I could drive,” Wong said. “I wasn’t trying to bloop something in, I was trying to drive something and either score myself or get in scoring position.”"
Yes, you need great pitching to ultimately be a championship contender but you also need a lineup that can generate offense for you especially during crucial times in the regular season and post-season.
At least early on, the St. Louis Cardinals have a best of both worlds, which is why I think they are arguably the best team in MLB as we stand right now but have a long way to go. Thanks for reading!