The St. Louis Cardinals that the fans expected at the start of the season are finally showing up. The team is 12-3 in their first 15 games since the All-Star break. They were .500 at the break, but are now well over the even mark. The Game Haus wrote an article titled “Why Each NL Central Team can Still Win the Division” a few weeks ago, and it briefly discussed how the Cardinals can start to get things going in the second half. They’ve been playing great so far, and here are some reasons why:
Cardinals Power Surge
Even though this team is batting near .240 during their 12-3 span, they have the seventh most runs scored since the break. A big reason for this is that the team has 27 home runs in the second half, leading to 5.6 runs per game. It seems like a lot of hitters are getting in on the action For example, Paul DeJong had a three-homer night against Pittsburgh on July 24. Matt Wieters has three home runs since filling in for Yadier Molina. Also, Paul Goldschmidt has five consecutive games with a dinger as of July 26. Here’s some more on Goldschmidts power surge:
Goldy has stepped up his power since the All-Star break. The 31-year-old has seven homers in his last 15 games, and five consecutive games with a long ball as of July 26. His power surge is likely going to give both him and the Cardinals confidence moving forward, which can really help this team reach their offensive potential. The Cardinals first basemen will look to continue his hot streak throughout the second half to help keep his team in the tight National League Central race.
Through 103 games, this team has a 4.09 ERA which is the eighth lowest in the league. Their rotation has consistency, as Miles Mikolas is a veteran performing well this season. Mikolas’ last three starts gave the Cardinals 21 innings including a complete game shutout. Mikolas had a 2.57 ERA during these outings.
Dakota Hudson has been pitching great this season as well. The 24-year-old has only allowed more than three earned runs once this season all the way back in April. He consistently provides his team with a chance to win ball games.
The bullpen is also having a great season. At the time of writing, the team has the sixth-lowest ERA at 3.89. Some notable names like Andrew Miller and Carlos Martinez reside in this talented bullpen. However, some lesser-known guys are pitching well for this club, too. An example is Giovanny Gallegos. Through 48 1/3 innings pitched, the 27-year-old has a 2.23 ERA along with a 0.74 WHIP. He also hasn’t allowed an earned run through five appearances since the mid-summer classic.
This Cardinals are legit. Their 12-3 record since the All-Star break is impressive enough, not to mention the fact that Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna are injured.
Offensively, this team has been showing a lot of power. This is more important than the base hits they’ve been lacking in all season. However, if the team keeps hitting the ball hard, more base hits should follow. Veterans like Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina need to continue to lead this team down the stretch in a tight division race.
The pitching staff is playing great as a whole. Guys like Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson usually put the team in a position to win the game before handing the ball to the bullpen. St. Louis may want to consider adding another starter at the deadline to give the team some more depth. The bullpen has some solid arms in Andrew Miller and Carlos Martinez. Some other players are stepping up as well, such as Giovanny Gallegos and John Gant. Similar to a starter, adding a bullpen arm may be a great idea for this Cardinals team.
Feature Image Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk