You probably read the title and started thinking, “it’s way too early to start thinking about the magic number, Daulton.”
Well, you’re right. There are still 27 games left on the schedule and a lot can happen in that time.
But let’s face it, the St. Louis Cardinals already have a ticket for the playoff express. They have showed no signs of slowing down and, thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers and some good luck against the Pittsburgh Pirates, now have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Pirates.
At the All-Star break, people were thinking that maybe the Cardinals could win 100 games. Pshh…they are already 14 games away from that.
I’m thinking that they can win 110 games, and they definitely have the capability to get it done. Their pitching has been superb all year. They have continued to produce timely hits and continue to play solid defense. Oh, and their bullpen is still the best in baseball. So why would 110 wins seem out of the question? The answer is…it wouldn’t.
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The only thing that makes me a little hesitant to “do the dance” before we have clinched anything is that the National League Central Division is the toughest in baseball. This was predicted at the beginning of the year, but not many people had the Cubs up towards the top making this a 3-team race.
It was supposed to just be the Pirates and the Cardinals battling it out until the end. But this young juggernaut Cubbies team has come out of the nowhere. I do want to give them some praise, even though I despise them, because they have actually put together an amazing season so far with such a young team.
If you’re wondering what the magic number is…and haven’t done the math already from the information I have given you, it is 24. Now, you may think that that is high but think about this.
The rest of the season is all against division opponents, starting with the Pirates this weekend followed up by the Cubs starting on Monday. If they can sweep each series, then that would significantly reduce their magic number.
The Pirates go outside the division twice as they will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies. It’s hard to see who exactly has the easier schedule but when you get to this point in the season, nothing is easy and every game matters.
So if you’re like me and already believe that the Cardinals are primed for another postseason berth then put on your party hats and start dancing along with me.