The Cardinals are 6 games over .500 and are starting to creep up on the Brewers to take the division lead. They still sit outside of the wild card spot as of now but can bounce back in this second half of the season.
Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado continue to dominate and have terrific seasons. The bullpen has really been the stars of St. Louis and has guys such as Ryan Helsley and Genesis Cabrera breaking out.
St. Louis has started the second half against the Reds but lost yesterday by 4. Paul Goldschmidt was still able to go deep, and Tyler O’Neill got it going in the second with a two-run single.
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What Needs to Change for the Cardinals Lineup in the Second Half
The Cardinals have had a good season, but there are always changes to be made. I would say the main two things are the offensive consistency and the starting staff rotation’s strike-throwing.
A theme for the Cardinals in the first half was losing close games due to a lack of run support. Miles Mikolas posted a terrific a 2.54 ERA but ended up going 7-7. Adam Wainwright also pitched very well but got just 6 wins as well.
The offense has had big moments, such as 4 home runs in one inning, but they also had stretches with 0 runs in 3 games. Nolan Gorman, Dylan Carlson, and Tommy Edman had pretty good first halves but are the catalysts to the Cardinal’s success.
Now for the strike-throwing, the young guys seem to have some control issues, which is a hopeful fix that the coaching staff can get.
The Cardinals Bullpen Needs to Continue to Dominate While the Staff Gets Healthy
The Cardinals starting staff has battled injuries such as Jordan Hicks, Jack Flaherty, and Steven Matz, all dealing with major injuries. Matthew Liberatore got called up and did very well for his first few starts.
The highlights of the first half were definitely Miles Mikolas’s near no-hitter, Adam Wainwright’s couple shutouts, and Ryan Helsley throwing 100+ miles per hour consistently. There haven’t been too many major breakdowns from the pitchers, which is why the Cardinals have won games.
The Cardinal’s hurlers can always improve and will definitely need to get healthy for a deep playoff run.
How Can the Cardinals Make a Deep Playoff Run?
Well, I just answered this question above, but getting healthy is key to any team being successful. The Cardinals have been relatively healthy but need to have good luck in the health department.
Matz, Flaherty, and Yadier Molina will all be great to get back. But if more injuries come about, expect Brendan Donovan, Matthew Liberatore, and Andre Pallante to be ready right away.
Goldschmidt has started his campaign as an MVP candidate and will need to continue his dominance at the plate. Nolan Arenado will also need to continue to hit dingers at the 4th spot.