How Arenado, Goldschmidt getting hot impacts the Cardinals

At long last, the moment has arrived: St Louis Cardinals stars Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt are getting hot at the same time.

Don’t look now, but here come the St. Louis Cardinals. They are coming off six straight wins, featuring two series sweeps over the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals, and are now only behind the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds for the second spot in the wild-card race.

It can’t be a coincidence that this coincides with breakouts from Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.

The Cardinals have been optimistic that Goldschmidt and Arenado would simultaneously get hot at some point during the season. They did not imagine it would take almost 120 games for it to happen. But in the last week, both players have combined to hit 15 for 46 (.326 batting average) with three home runs and 15 RBI.

Arenado, 30, has especially flashed during this stretch. He is hitting .304/.414/.783 with three home runs and 10 RBI in his last six games. He is slashing .267/.342/.564 with eight home runs and 22 RBI in the second half of the season. While he still has not recorded a multi-homer game this season, he is slashing .265/.324/.515 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI, with his 129 OPS+ being tied for the fourth highest of his career.

Goldschmidt has been more consistent throughout the regular season, hitting .275/.343/.446 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI, and has now formed the duo with Arenado that the Cardinals envisioned after bringing the All-Star third baseman to St. Louis. They are 10 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers and have 13 games against them remaining in the regular season. While it’s unlikely they catch them, they only trail the Padres by 4.5 games for the second wild card spot, which is attainable considering how banged up San Diego currently is.

“This is why I’m here,” Arenado said, via Katie Woo of The Athletic. “We’re in it. We have a chance.”

The odds are not in their favor, with FanGraphs listing their postseason chances at just 5.8 percent. But with Arenado and Goldschmidt hot, anything is possible, and we’re starting to find that out.