4 reasons why the Cardinals should regret letting pitching coach Mike Maddux go

The Mike Maddux-led Texas Rangers are in first place. The Dusty Blake-led Cardinals are in last. Should the Cardinals regret not extending Maddux this past offseason?
Houston Astros v Texas Rangers
Houston Astros v Texas Rangers / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Walks and Strikeouts

With the lack of a shift and the high-octane offenses that are present in today's game, it is imperative that a staff is able to strike out batters at a high clip. The Cardinals have not been able to do that in recent years. They have, however, been very good at walking batters, especially with the bases loaded.

The Rangers have a total of 257 walks and 730 strikeouts, good for a 2.84 K/BB rate. On the other hand, the Cardinals have walked 312 batters and struck out 727, a 2.33 K/BB rate. The league average is right around 2.60 K/BB this year.

One key to getting strikeouts and limiting walks is getting the first strike. The Rangers have a 1st pitch-swinging percentage of 32.6% as a team (league average is 30.5%). The Cardinals are getting players to swing at the first pitch at a 28.3% rate. Getting ahead in the count is the key to limiting walks and maintaining high strikeout numbers. The Rangers are doing that while the Cardinals aren't.