St. Louis Cardinals among the most clutch teams in baseball

According to Fangraphs, the St. Louis Cardinals are surprisingly the second-most clutch team in all of baseball.
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Being "clutch" is something that isn't necessarily quantifiable across sports. Players such as Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Adam Vinatieri, and Derek Jeter all performed exceptionally well under pressure, and each is considered one of the most clutch in his respective sport.

In baseball, being clutch is unique, especially for hitters. Can you deliver the big hit when the team needs it most? Are you able to come up in high-pressure situations and get the job done? Regardless of how you describe a player who is "clutch", it is still a welcome quality in an athlete.

For the St. Louis Cardinals, one such player has been clutch for them this year, and his name is Alec Burleson. According to FanGraphs, Burly is the team's most clutch player with a clutch rating of +0.79. The next closest player is Matt Carpenter with a score of +0.77. League average is, of course, 0.00. Most players and teams fall between 1 and -1, and anyone greater than 2.0 is considered "excellent" in clutch situations.

The least clutch player on the team according to FanGraphs? That would be Paul Goldschmidt with a score of -0.39

This is the second straight year that Goldy has been the least clutch player on the Cardinals' roster. Last year, Tommy Edman was the team's most clutch player with a score of 0.81, and Goldschmidt was last with a score of -0.68.

As a team, the Cardinals rank second among all teams in MLB with a team clutch score of 2.45. The Cleveland Guardians are the only team ahead of them with a score of 4.20, and the Seattle Mariners are in third with a score of 2.18. The closest National League Central team is the Chicago Cubs who are in 13th place with a score of 0.32.

Clutchness doesn't guarantee wins, but it does show a team's moxy. Last year, the Cardinals had a terrible season, and the clutch factor backs up the lack of energy and drive the team had; ththeye finished 27th in all of baseball according to this metric. This year already feels different than 2023, and the clutch factor backs up that sentiment.