Last season, the Chicago Cubs went 66-96, bad for a .407 winning percentage. The Cubbies had a -87 run differential. All of those were the worst marks in the National League Central.
The 2013 St. Louis Cardinals finished the year 97-65 with a +187 run differential. The Cards led the division in both wins and run differential.
So it comes as no surprise that the Redbirds feasted on the Cubs last season. The Cardinals finished last season 12-7 against the Cubs. That equals a .632 winning percentage. St. Louis outscored the Small Bears by 26 runs over the clubs' 19 contests a year ago.
In 2014, the Cards-Cubs series has played out a bit differently so far.
The Cubs are still bad at baseball. After last night, the North Siders are 13-24. Their .351 winning percentage is the worst in the NL even if their -4 runner differential after last night's trouncing of the Cardinals ranks them better than the Mets (-6), Pirates (-12), Padres (-23), Phillies (-30), and Diamondbacks (-63). But they now have a winning record agains the Cardinals (4-3) and a positive run differential against Matheny's crew (+10).
Despite the Cubs' poor overall record and run differential, they now have a winning record against the Cards (4-3) and run differential (+10). The Cardinals have 12 games remaining against Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's Wrigley J.O.B. Squad. In order to come end 2014 with a winning percentage against Chicago on par with a year ago, the Cardinals have to go 9-3. What are the odds that the Cards can manage to defeat the Cubs at such a clip?
Postseason clubs beat the teams they should. On paper, the Cardinals are far superior to the lowly Cubs. On the field, they haven't been. The Cards' struggles against the Cubs are yet another indicator of the defending NL champions' sluggish start.