Here are three predictions that could turn the tide of the playoffs for the St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are nearly ensured to make the postseason this year, with a 99.8% likelihood according to the latest stats. If nothing changes, the Cardinals would face the San Diego Padres in the first round.
The Cardinals have been on an offensive and bullpen downturn as of late, but fans shouldn’t panic. While the Cardinals might not be able to match up with the best teams that will make the postseason, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, it’s really just a matter of which team gets the hottest in October.
That being said, there are several strategies manager Oliver Marmol could take to optimize the team’s chances. Marmol has proven to be a strong manager in his first season at the helm, and Paul Goldschmidt’s and Nolan Arenado’s fantastic seasons have helped propel the Cardinals to the place they’re in now. Albert Pujols’ resurgence in his final season hasn’t hurt, either.
Marmol has shown that he has a quick hook to the bullpen, which is a refreshing change from former managers Mike Matheny and Mike Shildt. Today’s era is dependent on relief pitching, and while the bullpen has sputtered a bit in recent weeks, the back end, at least, remains among the best in baseball.
Ryan Helsley has emerged as one of the top closers in the game in 2022, but Marmol would be wise to use him in high-leverage situations instead of saving him for the ninth inning all the time.
Marmol’s decisions, no matter how minute, will be under a microscope during the postseason. Here are three wise actions I think Marmol will take in the playoffs.