Cardinals Making A Late Season Playoff Push

Josh Calloni, Reporter

Like the St. Louis Blues, earlier this year the Cardinals are making a late season surge and look to be playoff bound for the first time since 2015.

As it stands right now, the Cardinals have a 94.5% chance of making the playoffs, either as a division winner or a wild card team. Though, that number was not always so high, being as low as 25% in the middle of May, according to baseball-reference. That was aided by the teams record in May, which sat at 9-18, which is a winning percentage of .333. That month lead the narrative for the first half of the season, as the Cardinals finished with a first half record of 44-44. 

During the first half, the Cardinals offense was lackluster. The team only scored two more runs than they allowed, 393 to 391.

“The Cardinals are looking really good in the second half compared to the first half, I hope to see them make a deep postseason run. It’s been a while,” senior Adam Thomason said.

After the all star break, though, the Cardinals have had the appearance of a different team. The record since July 12 sits at 35-17, best in the league since that time. The runs scored to runs allowed ratio is also much better, as the team has scored 260 runs and allowed 183. This has been aided by Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna both performing better in the last few weeks.

There have been a few unsung heroes along the duration of this season, the bullpen especially. The Cardinals have the best bullpen in the NL according to fWAR and ERA. This comes from a heavy, but quality workload from Giovanny Gallegos, John Brebbia and John Gant. Each have worked many innings this season, each of which rank in the top 15 in the NL in that category. Though, each have an ERA under 3.15, Gallegos’ being the lowest at 2.27, which is good for 10th in all of baseball among relief pitchers. Tommy Edman has led the charge for offensive standouts, as he’s batting .280 with an OPS of .743 since his recall in the start of June. 

“The Cardinals have had such a run going lately and no one is talking about it. They have a bullpen good enough to carry them deep into the postseason but because they don’t have as many wins or a commanding division lead, they aren’t getting recognized. If they were in a weaker division, I definitely think that they would have more wins, because they can beat up on bad teams more often.” junior Grayson Manor said. 

The division is so tightly packed that their magic number currently sits at 15. However, that number can go down by two a night when the team wins, if the Chicago Cubs lose that same night. The Cardinals and Cubs matchup seven more times this season, which could be the difference. 

If the Cardinals do make the playoffs as the division winner, they will be slated to play the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, as the Los Angeles Dodgers have already locked up the number one seed in the National League.