A look at the St. Louis Cardinals’ dwindling postseason chances

rmurray2
Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on from third base against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on July 07, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on from third base against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on July 07, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The St Louis Cardinals entered the season with World Series aspirations. Instead, their season looks about over with 50 games to go.

Entering the regular season, the St. Louis Cardinals were pegged to be a National League contender and a potential World Series favorite. The addition of Nolan Arenado put them in that category. Yet this season has been a disappointment, with the Cardinals falling to over 10 games back in the National League Central.

The Cardinals’ odds of advancing to the postseason have dropped dramatically, with FanGraphs pegging their postseason chances at just 1.3 percent. For comparison’s sake, the Milwaukee Brewers have a 92.6 percent chance and the Cincinnati Reds, who are 5.5 games ahead of the Cardinals, have a 37 percent chance. The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, meanwhile, have no chance.

That the Cardinals are in this position with over 50 games to go is stunning and not how anyone in the organization, especially president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and manager Mike Shildt, saw this season playing out. But it’s their reality and when this season ends, the entire Cardinals front office and coaching staff will be tasked with turning this ship around.

But it won’t be easy. This season has revealed many of the Cardinals’ flaws, most notably not having much offensive firepower alongside Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. There was little internal rotation depth and when Jack Flaherty and others in the rotation went down with injuries, forced the front office to trade for two veteran left-handed pitchers over the age of 36. And the bullpen could use help, with Andrew Miller unlikely to return, and Jordan Hicks and Alex Reyes candidates to join the rotation.

There is a chance, however, that the Cardinals can erase that 10+ game deficit in the NL Central. They are confident that they have a late rally in them and, with the return of Jack Flaherty, are going to get their unquestioned ace back to lead the rotation. But with such a significant deficit, the Brewers playing so well and less than 33 percent of the season left, is there enough time for them to crawl out of this hole?

Next. The St. Louis Cardinals need better results from Jon Lester. dark

We’re about to find out. For now, this season ranks among the biggest disappointments in recent Cardinals history.

facebooktwitterreddit