What a St. Louis Cardinals lineup with Albert Pujols looks like
Here’s what a St. Louis Cardinals lineup with Albert Pujols looks like. Spoiler: it’s really, really good — and should scare left-handed pitchers.
No, it was not a dream. Albert Pujols has an agreement in place with the St. Louis Cardinals, pending physical. No, I cannot believe it either.
But it’s reality. Now, the Cardinals have to figure out how to implement Pujols in their lineup, and you can bet that they know exactly how they’re going to do that. They did not just sign Pujols because of nostalgia. They believe he can help them win, and the best way that he will be able to do that is against left-handed pitching.
Here’s what a Cardinals lineup looks like with Pujols against left-handed pitching:
RF Dylan Carlson
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Tyler O’Neill
3B Nolan Arenado
DH Albert Pujols
SS Paul DeJong
C Yadier Molina
2B Tommy Edman
CF Harrison Bader
Yes, I realize that Pujols is not the same player he was the last time he played in St. Louis. But holy smokes is that lineup good, especially that 1 through 5. It might be the second best in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose lineup features Trea Turner, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Justin Turner, among others.
The optimism surrounding Pujols, 42, and his potential against left-handers stems from his numbers last season. While he hit .180/.233/.266 against right-handers, he hit .294/.336/.603 with 13 homers against left-handers.
Adding that bat to a lineup that was in the bottom half of the league against left-handers last season was smart and, on a $2.5 million contract, comes with no risk. The Cardinals got better and also pleased fans by bringing home their future Hall of Fame first baseman for one final season before retiring.