Despite a slow start, the St. Louis Cardinals are well positioned for a postseason run

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It's almost June, so let's have a look at the state of the National League.

Yesterday’s rubber-match loss to the Yankees didn’t give one much cause for positivity about the Cardinals. The game featured a brutal excerpt in the book of Shelby Miller’s ERA-to-FIP regression with the young righty’s fading fastball’s hit-ability on full display against a New York lineup that was rather underwhelming on paper. To the Cards’ credit, they didn’t pack it in after Miller dug them a seven-run hole. They plated four throughout the remainder of the game and held the Yanks scoreless. That didn’t change the end result, but it was heartening to see the Redbirds continue to put up a fight against such a deficit.

Meanwhile, in a match between a former American League franchise and a former St. Louis franchise, the Brewers bested the Orioles 8-3. I confess that, at this early point in the season, I don’t pay much attention to the standings. I check them at most once a week. Prior to last night, the last time I scoped out the NL Central standings was when I wrote a post about run differential, Pythagorean record, and Baseball Prospectus third order wins. Imagine, then, my pleasant surprise to find that the Cardinals trailed the Brewers by just 2.5 games after a night that included a St. Louis loss and a Milwaukee win.

But my pleasant surprise didn’t end there. Here are the combined NL standings:

Place

Team

Wins

Losses

Pct.

Run Diff.

1

Giants

34

19

.642

+47

2

Brewers

32

22

.593

+17

3

Cardinals

29

24

.547

+25

4

Braves

28

24

.538

+5

5

Dodgers

29

25

.537

+10

6

Marlins

28

25

.528

+24

7

Rockies

28

25

.528

+34

8

Nationals

25

27

.481

+1

9

Mets

24

28

.462

-8

10

Philies

23

27

.460

-28

11

Reds

23

28

.451

-15

12

Padres

24

30

.444

-28

13

Pirates

23

29

.442

-28

14

Diamondbacks

22

33

.400

-61

15

Cubs

19

32

.373

-11


The Cardinals have the third-best record in the NL. Seriously. By winning percentage, St. Louis has a better record than any NL East team. They also have the third-best run differential, if that's more your bag. The Cards have the same number of wins and one less loss than the Dodgers. Every NL team but the Giants and Brewers have a worse won-lost record than our favorite Redbirds.

Of course, the Cardinals play in the NL Central and sit below the Brewers in the standings after about one-third of the season. But Milwaukee predictably tapered off after their white-hot start. The Brew Crew’s fade has coincided with the Cards’ rise. Even after their sluggish start, the Redbirds are poised to catch the Brewers as the calendar changes from May to June. And that goes a long way toward soothing the sting of a rubber-match loss at home to the Yankees.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker