It’s the end of July and not surprisingly, the St. Louis Cardinals are looking good to lock down the home field advantage throughout the National League Playoffs. Odd number years seem to be long to the Cards like even number years are owned by the San Francisco Giants. The Cards won the World Series in 2011 and the National League Pennant in 2013. Here we are in 2015, and they are again looking like championship contenders.
A look at the St. Louis Cardinals schedule in August, we see they have a rather soft one for the first three series. They have the Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati reds and the Milwaukee Brewers in the first three series of the month before a showdown with the Pittsburgh Pirates the 11th, 12th and 13th at home. The Pirates are the only team with any hope of catching the Cardinals, so they could put that to bed with a good start to the month.
St. Louis Cardinals schedule in August also has the Miami Marlins in between series with the Pirates and the Giants. If the Marlins have Giancarlo Stanton back by then, that could be a trap series. But it looks like they won’t have any starting pitching left by then as they are looking to trade Dan Haren and have already moves Mat Latos.
Graphic via ksdk
After the Giants leave town, St. Louis goes on a three series west coast road trip. Those are always tough no matter the opponents. But they do miss the Los Angeles Dodgers on the trip. They will start with the San Diego Padres, then face the Arizona Diamondbacks and finish with the Giants.
When the calendar flips to September, the St. Louis Cardinals schedule has the East leading Washington Nationals coming in on August 31 through September 2nd. That will be a possible playoff preview as well. Then the Pirates come in for three which is yet another one. The Chicago Cubs then come in and that’s always a fun series. The Cubs are still alive as well. Wouldn’t a Cubs-Cards playoff series be something?
The rest of the St. Louis Cardinals schedule in September softens up a bit with the Reds and Brewers on it. In fact, the Brewers are on there twice. But they do have the Pirates and Cubs one more time before the end of the month. They end the season in October with a three game series with the Atlanta Braves.
With a 4.5 game lead over the Pirates and an eight game cushion over the Giants for the second Wild Card spot, only a terrible collapse would keep the Cards out of the playoffs. But this team is not thinking playoffs, they are thinking World Series. Anything short of a championship will be a disappointment.
They will not be overlooking teams like the Marlins, Reds and Brewers. They know every game is important no matter the opponent. They want to lock up the home field advantage.
Will they be a player at the trade deadline? Interestingly enough, there has been almost no talk of them adding a player. That should let us know how stacked this roster is. They feel no need to add a pitcher? They have no need for another bat?
Don’t be surprised though if the Cards add a piece before the deadline that nobody saw coming. There is a reason these guys are always playing in October. Houston Astros fans are snickering at that statement.
But regardless, the rest of the baseball season is going to be very red with the Nats, L. A. Angels and the Cards all looking like they will be in the postseason.
Graphic via rantsports