The St. Louis Cardinals are now likely to make the postseason, something that seemed unimaginable on Aug. 10.
If you would have told me on Aug. 10 that the St. Louis Cardinals, then 8.5 games out of the second National League wild card spot, would be in position to make the postseason, I would have laughed and told you there was little chance.
How could I not? The Cardinals were scuffling offensively. The pitching staff was once again without Jack Flaherty and relying on aging veterans Jon Lester and J.A. Happ to pitch meaningful innings. All-Star closer Alex Reyes was struggling mightily in the ninth inning. The team, as a whole, was in a bad position and appeared on the verge of collapsing without having a surge that they had promised all season.
But here the Cardinals are, winners of nine straight games, with a 80-69 record and a three game lead for that second NL wild card position. Their playoff odds are now 79.1 percent while their World Series chances continue to (slowly) increase on WynnBET.
It’s a position that even the most optimistic of observers could have never seen coming. But Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill have stepped up offensively, carrying the offense through August and September, while Dylan Carlson and others have stepped up. Adam Wainwright has pitched himself into the Cy Young conversation while Lester and Happ have exceeded expectations, with Lester picking up his 200th career win in a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. And Reyes has been relegated to lower-leverage situations, with Genesis Cabrera once again stabilizing the ninth inning.
It positioned the Cardinals for a winner-take-all wild card game against the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants. Of course, with both teams being among the best in baseball, the Cardinals will enter the game as extreme underdogs, especially since they will be playing at Dodger Stadium or Oracle Park.
But with the Cardinals offense surging, and Wainwright a strong candidate to pitch in the wild card game, anything is possible. Just look at the last two months. No matter the odds, they should not be ruled out. Their surge from Aug. 10 to now has earned them that right.