Buying or selling the biggest storylines from the Cardinals' series loss to Dodgers

What takeaways should we have from the Cardinals opening series against the Dodgers?

Mar 31, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Steven Matz (32)
Mar 31, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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We are now four games into the St. Louis Cardinals 2024 campaign, approximately 2% of the 162 games they will play over the course of the season, but if you scroll through social media, it would make you think they've played half the season already.

The Cardinals got off to a 1-3 start against the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers, who looked like the far superior team in this series. After pretty convincing losses in the first two games of the series, the Cardinals bounced back for a win in the third game, just to blow a 4-0 lead in the late innings of the series finale.

Storylines and takes are flying all over the place relating to this Cardinals team, so I want to take a moment to tell you which ones I'm buying and which ones I'm selling in this very small sample size.

Buy: It's far too early to know if the Cardinals are back to being contenders or destined to fail again

Hey, did I mention enough times in the introduction that the Cardinals have only completed four games this season, all four of which came against a team that may go down as one of the best we have ever seen in the Dodgers, any came close to splitting the series?

Even if the Cardinals had held onto the final game of the series and left Los Angeles with a 2-2 record, I'd still be pumping the breaks on any massive conclusions about this team. In fact, I wouldn't have cared if the Cardinals won the series or even swept the Dodgers, it wouldn't mean we know who this team is already (although, it sure would have been fun to see!).

Instead, it's time to take a breather, regroup, and see what the club is able to do against the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins this week. I'd love to see what this lineup does against pitching staff that are still talented, but not anywhere near the level of the Dodgers, and I really want to see what the Cardinals' own pitching staff does when facing lineups that don't feature three straight MVPs hitting at the very top of it.

The Cardinals cannot afford to start the season like they did last year, but we are still a few weeks away from that becoming a reality. For now, they need to focus on turning things around against San Diego and Miami.

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