The St. Louis Cardinals started the season slowly, but they have picked it up of late. Where do they rank among other teams in baseball?
The start to the regular season is not what the St. Louis Cardinals envisioned. Their rotation was battered and bruised. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt got off to slow starts. The young outfielders, besides Dylan Carlson, didn’t look ready for prominent roles.
Slowly but surely, things are settling into place. The rotation is pitching deep into games. Arenado is on pace for career-best numbers while Goldschmidt has shown some signs of breaking out of his month-long slump. Bleacher Report, who previously ranked the Cardinals as the No. 22 team in baseball, now have them as the No. 11 team. Here’s their explanation for the ranking:
“A three-game sweep of the Reds over the weekend moved the Cardinals from fourth to second in the NL Central standings, and that could be how things go all year in baseball’s most wide-open division. Rookie Dylan Carlson moved into the No. 2 spot in the batting order Friday, and he went 7-for-11 with a pair of three-hit games following the shuffle.”
The ranking puts the Cardinals second in the division, with the Milwaukee Brewers ranking No. 7 in their list. That feels about right, considering their success against St. Louis to start the season and their hot start fueled by Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, who have carried the team while Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain are out with injuries.
But the Cardinals should catch up at some point, perhaps even soon. Arenado and Goldschmidt figure to get even better from here. Carlson will only get better as he gets more experience and should benefit when Harrison Bader returns soon. And they’ll also get back Miles Mikolas and Yadier Molina, who are currently on the Injured List.
While their season may not have started like they hoped, the Cardinals are slowly putting it together and have the pieces to not only become the best team in the National League Central, but a top 5 club in baseball.