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Is the playoff ticket already in hand?

With the offensive additions lately, it's easy to think the Cardinals are a shoe-in for the playoffs, but as Lee Corso would say, "not so fast"...

The Cardinals have 58 games remaining. This season, starting pitching has decided 71% of the games they've played. Before looking at the record the bullpen has had for the games they've decided, let's stick with the starters. Assuming each of (Carpenter, Wainwright, Pineiro and Lohse) account for 9 starting decisions each the rest of the way and the #5 pitcher accounts for 6 - gauging by the current win percentage for each, the team would yield 25 wins by the end of the season. Okay, now the bullpen - the bullpen has won 50% of the games decided by them which leaves 16 games or 8 wins. The overall, season-long win total for the team would be 89... enough to win the division? Make the playoffs? Okay, so the offense has improved and maybe Wainwright , Pineiro and Lohse are really worth an extra win - plus, the bullpen gets 2 more wins and has a 66% win percentage instead of 1/2. The win total goes up to 94... which looks a lot better when considering what it takes to win the division and/or make the playoffs, but we're still talking about the team carrying a 66% win percentage the rest of the season which can be a tall order for any team down the stretch. I think things look good for the Cardinals the rest of the way, but we haven't automatically printed our ticket to the post-season.

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