The St Louis Cardinals are hitting their stride in the NL Central

Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 1, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 1, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals were hovering around .500 to start the year, but after a hot streak have taken the lead in the NL Central.

There have been two different phases of fan worry so far this season for the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first turn through the rotation, fans were worried about the starting pitching. When the pitching started to come around, fans then turned their worry to the disappearing offense.

However, in the most recent stretch of games, there has been very little to worry about. In their past 11 games, the Cardinals are 9-2. This stretch started with a home sweep of the division-rival Reds, then a sweep of the Pirates after taking two of four from the Phillies.

After the Cards won the first game against the Mets and Brewers loss on Tuesday, they now have sole control of first place in the NL Central with a record of 17-12. The team’s current five-game winning streak has put them at five games above .500 for the first time since 2019.

Beating up on the Pirates seemed easy, but they were tied with the Cardinals at 12-12 coming into that series. The Cubs were in last place, but the Pirates quickly tumbled to take their place. Right now, only the Cardinals and the Brewers are above .500 in the Central.

At the plate, Tyler O’Neill and his resurgence since returning has helped a ton, but fans have also seen Nolan Arenado step up in big time moments too. Paul Goldschmidt has slowly started to wake up at the plate, but both he and Arenado are not quite at the level we could expect. Arenado’s current 123 wRC+ is solid, but Goldy’s 83 wRC+ is uncharacteristic.

When both of these guys get going at the level they can be at, the Cardinals are going to be even scarier.

Next. Tyler O’Neill has been on fire since return. dark

Over the past two weeks, the Cardinals have started to look like the team we hoped they could be. The question now just becomes how long they can keep these performances up, and if they can start to distance themselves from the rest of the division.

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