Miles Mikolas came into this season as a question mark in the Cardinals’ starting rotation. Since his All-Star season in 2018, it has gone downhill with ERA’s over 4 in 2019 and 2021, along with frequent trips to the injured list.
2022 has been nothing short of a revelation for Mikolas, as he currently owns one of the best ERAs in the Majors at 2.67. One of the keys to his success has been getting batters to chase the slider low and away, just like in 2018. Batters are currently hitting .203 off his slider, and when you combine that with increased usage of a sinking fastball, it makes Mikolas a tough pitcher to face.
Currently sitting tied for second in all of baseball with 3.0 WAR is Tommy Edman. Last season, Edman’s OBP was a mere .308, which is way too low for a leadoff man. Through two months, Edman owns an OBP is .360. The biggest improvement Edman has made is drawing walks. With nineteen walks already, Edman is set to blow past his season average of 22 base-on balls.
Edman’s biggest asset to the Cardinals is his versatility. Not only is Edman taking productive at-bats, his defense remains Gold-Glove caliber at second base and shortstop. Right now, Edman is tied with Andrew Velazquez for second in MLB Defensive WAR and sits in the 89th percentile of Outs Above Average according to Statcast.
With perhaps the most dominating fastball this season in MLB, Ryan Helsley has emerged as the best relief pitcher for the Cardinals. Through 18.2 innings, Helsley has generated 28 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.48. Helsley enters June with a 0.48 ERA, having surrendered his only earned run of the season last Monday.