St Louis Cardinals still sit in top third of MLB power rankings
The weekly power rankings from MLB.com have proven to be a rollercoaster for the St Louis Cardinals. They have been as high as the top-10 and as low as near the 20s, but have recently stayed toward the top teams in baseball.
After ranking No. 8 last week, they have listed the Cardinals at No. 10 and the top team in the National League Central. The Milwaukee Brewers (23-23) come in 14th while the Chicago Cubs (24-22) come in 15th.
The biggest surprise isn’t that the Cardinals are rated 10th. That sounds about right. It’s that the Cubs, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games and second in the division, are behind the Brewers, a team that is 4-6 in their last 10 games and struggling to put together sustained success offensively.
And unless the Brewers improve offensively, it will be the Cubs who provide the Cardinals with the stiffest competition in the Central. Even then, it remains to be seen how competitive the Cubs will be the rest of the season, given their offensive struggles and the possibility of trading Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and/or Javier Baez before they become free agents (and likely leave) in the offseason.
The Cardinals, however, are also not perfect. Miles Mikolas was placed on the injured list almost as soon as he came off it with right forearm tightness. The bullpen is still without veterans Jordan Hicks and Andrew Miller, who are also on the IL. And Tyler O’Neill remains out of the lineup after fracturing a finger sliding into second base.
But the Cardinals are clearly the favorite to win the division. After all, they have managed to play this well with so many injuries. Once they get all their players back, they should continue to climb these rankings — perhaps even making an appearance in the top 5 at some point.