With less than two weeks left in the regular season St. Louis Cardinals fans are getting that itch for postseason. The Cardinals are tied for first place in the National League Central Division and their magic number to clinch a birth in the playoffs stands around 5 as I am writing this. So let’s just say that the Cardinals are going to the postseason. Will they win the division or settle for a Wild Card birth? All three of those spots are being fought daily between them, the Cincinnati Reds, and for the first time since 1991, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Just about anything can happen between those three and their playoff standing. The benefit the Cardinals have is that the Pirates and Reds battle each other down the stretch. I think that will help the Cards win their division with the Pirates hosting the Reds in the one game Wild Card playoff. The winner of that game will face the Dodgers while the Cardinals face the Braves again in postseason. Just my feeling.
Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina have led the Cardinals offensively as well as with their defense. Both are among the tops in the league in hitting and Carpenter to me is the teams, if not the leagues Most Valuable Player. I think the Carp will lose some votes due to his anonymity and Yadi was the press’ choice earlier in the year. Carpenter has over 50 doubles, will be around 200 hits and scored over 100 runs. He has energized this team since he took over the leadoff spot even though he is not your typical leadoff hitter. Oh yeah, he also played 2B for the first time ever and was an All-Star and has made some pure dazzling plays with his glove and arm. He has grit, baseball smarts, and is the guy I want my son to model himself after as a player due to his hard work from college days on.
A lot of questions still need to be answered in the last two weeks. Will Allen Craig be ready to play baseball any time this year? He recently went back in a walking boot to help his injured foot. I would say yes he will be back, but he may be rusty. I don’t see him starting a game that matters at least until the NLCS. Will Lance Lynn continue his pitching greatness he has displayed in his last two starts? I sure hope so. I hope our postseason rotation looks something like: Adam Wainwright, Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller. That is my guess on the order. Just a guess and you can really switch any one around but there should be no doubt that Wainwright is your best option. Chris Carpenter recently helped him work out some kinks and he could be baseball’s best pitcher in the postseason.
Right now, game 7 of the World Series is scheduled to take place on October 31st. That means there is no more than six weeks of baseball games left to be played. I sure hope the St. Louis Cardinals have the team to go all the way and make it another Red October!