The St. Louis Cardinals are back to owning the lead in the NL Central. Where do the Cardinals’ chances sit for making the playoffs?
It is a bit of a cliche to say that, “every win counts!” for the St. Louis Cardinals but as with most cases, they really are true. For as frustrating, flawed, improperly built as they are, have a good chance to make the playoffs.
Regardless of if it is what the team deserves, it has to be the aim for this team every year, especially when they haven’t reached the playoffs for the past three years. The team needs to be stockpiling wins against whoever they can get them against. At this point in the year especially, a win is a win.
Right now, coming off an emphatic 13-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, the Cardinals hold a single game lead over the Cubs as they did on July 30th. Between then and now, the team went on both a five-game losing streak and a five-game winning streak. At one point in between, they were down all the way to 3.5 games back. It all ends with them still in first place and now with a 52.5% chance of making the playoffs per Fangraphs.com.
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The Cubs sit with an understandable 67.2% chance as they have led the division the majority of the year and while still flawed, are definitely the better team. The middling Brewers chances are just at 27.7% even though they sit just a game behind the Cubs and 2.0 behind the Cardinals.
Right now the team is projected for 85 wins while the Cubs and Brewers are projected 86 and 83 respectively. An 85 win season would still be a step back from last year’s 88 wins but in the diminished NL Central, it would still be within a game of winning the division.
It really is shaping up to be a fun final month and a half of the season with all these teams so close. The Cardinals have a lot to say in what the Cubs final win totals are as they play each other in 7 of the last ten games of the season.
They may be flawed, they definitely don’t deserve it, but the Cardinals have a good chance to get in at least with a Wild Card Berth. With the Phillies and the Cubs in the two Wild Card spots, there are four more teams within five games of them, adding to the excitement.
Games against other NL Central opponents are the most important of course, but any win is a good win at this point because of how close the division and Wild Card are going to be when it’s all said and done. It doesn’t feel like this team deserves it, but here they are, with a division lead on August 17th…