Compared to their last five or six seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals 2016 campaign has been mediocre overall.
However, St. Louis still finds itself in the playoff hunt. Entering Monday, the Cardinals were 7.5 games back in the NL Central, but just one game out of the second Wildcard spot. If the Cardinals can make the playoffs, they have the tools needed to be the World Series Champions.
Four Reasons We Could See a Cardinals World Series Win
The Cardinals have all the talent, heart, and leadership (mainly from Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, two guys who have won the World Series twice before) needed to make a deep playoff run, but their biggest problem this season has been consistency. One game, they look untouchable, like a team that couldn’t be stopped in the playoffs. The next game, they look like a last-place team that’s rebuilding. The Cards have shown signs of being a championship-caliber team, however, so let’s look at four reasons the Cardinals could be hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy at the end of the year.
When you look at every team that has ever won the World Series, they all have one thing in common: you can never count them out of a game. Championship teams always have that characteristic, and the 2016 Cardinals do as well. St. Louis is one of the best teams in the league at scoring late in games; they are second in MLB in runs scored in the 9th inning.
2. Great Hitting.
The Cardinals struggled to score runs last year, a problem they’re not having this year. The problem this year is that they seem to score runs in bunches one game then score one or two the next game. If the Cardinals can even those runs outs: watch out. The Cardinals are currently 4th in the league in runs scored per game at 5.08, just .02 points behind the team that’s second in that category, the Colorado Rockies. St. Louis also has more help on the way, with Matt Carpenter, Brandon Moss, and Jhonny Peralta all coming back from injuries within a week.
3. Success Against Great NL Teams.
St. Louis seems to perform much better against teams over .500 this year than anyone else; especially the favorites for the NL pennant. The Cardinals have a winning record this season against the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, and San Francsico Giants.
4. Road Warriors
The Cardinals have the best record in the majors this year when it comes to playing on the road. They are an astounding 31-19 away from home.
Let’s pretend the Cardinals capture a wildcard spot and win the wildcard game. They would then most likely play a series against the Cubs. On top of the Cardinals having a winning record against Chicago, the Cardinals swept the Cubs at Wrigley this season. Also, Busch Stadium is one of the most difficult places for road teams to win in the post-season. The fans are great all year long, but seem to turn it up to a whole new level in the playoffs.
If they can get into the postseason, the Cardinals are geared to make a deep run, and could even be the 2016 World Series Champions.