Cardinals playoff odds: St. Louis’ chances decreasing

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Yadier Molina (4) hits a two run double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports
Yadier Molina (4) hits a two run double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Cardinals are only 2.5 games back in the wild card race, but their odds of advancing to the postseason are slim.

Yadier Molina recently declared that teams knew the St. Louis Cardinals were a very real postseason threat after they trounced the Milwaukee Brewers 15-4 on Friday night, crawling within 1.5 games of the second National League wild card spot.

Yet after a 4-0 loss on Saturday, falling to 2.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds, the Cardinals’ playoff odds sit at a mere 6.3 percent, according to FanGraphs. The Reds’ odds, meanwhile, sit at 56.4 percent while the Padres are at 29 percent. The Philadelphia Phillies, who are actually a half game *back* of the Cardinals in the wild card race, are 28.8 percent.

The discrepancy between the Cardinals and Phillies has something to do with the Phillies having a real shot at winning the NL East. But that the Cardinals, who have been playing good baseball lately and have seen recent strong performances from Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, have such low playoff odds despite being in the thick of the postseason hunt underscores just how unpredictable they are.

It stems from their inconsistency. Just after putting up 15 runs and seeing production from every part of the lineup, especially Arenado who hit two home runs, Brewers starter Adrian Houser threw their first complete game shutout since 2014. The Cardinals had little chance against Houser, making him look like Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff rather than their No. 4 starter.

The Cardinals’ rotation is in a precarious position too, adding to that uncertainty. Jack Flaherty is out and has yet to resume throwing off a mound. Kwang Hyun Kim, who can go a maximum of five innings, wasn’t able to get out of the second inning against the Brewers on Saturday. The rotation is relying on Adam Wainwright and a bunch of complimentary pieces to get through this season.

Next. Cardinals Rumors: St. Louis to offer Adam Wainwright an extension. dark

It’s a credit to manager Mike Shildt and the players that they are still in the playoff hunt this deep into the season. But a playoff berth has always been unlikely and, according to FanGraphs, perhaps more unlikely than we all thought.

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