We’re back, in all our self-serving round table glory. Parkes, Stoeten, Lewis, and I get together and take a look toward the Division Series and a brief peek back at the Wild Card game. While we stop short of making predictions, we do take time out to lambaste at least nine of the remaining eight squads. At least.
Listen to the podcast directly here.
Readers of Getting Blanked are no doubt familiar with our “Cardinals are better than everyone” trope. It is just sort of true. Obviously the erratic nature of short series baseball holds true but, for me, the Cardinals remain the team to beat for the World Series. The consistent ability — from hitters 1-8, seems — to barrel baseballs is uncanny. The typical Cardinals rally that starts with two line drives and ends with a crooked number and a bat around inning, a scenario we saw time and time again this year.
Losing Allan Craig to injury is a blow, but in typical Cardinals fashion, St. Louis has Matt Adams ready to step in and provide their methodical offense with another dimension: power. Sweet, raw power.
The Cardinals scored the third-most runs in baseball this season despite hitting the fourth-fewest home runs. Adams supplied 17 of the team’s 125 homers in just 319 plate appearances. He was the only member of the Cardinals to post an ISO over .200 as well as being the only Cards hitter to post a slugging percentage over .500.
With Adams, Holliday, and Carlos Beltran, the Cardinals have three hitters for whom the batters box might be considered “scoring position.” A welcome change for a team best known for their unbelievable production with runners on base.
It doesn’t mean the Cardinals will or should win the World Series. The bookies installed the Red Sox and Dodgers as favorites. But the Cardinals have an irresistible appeal. They are the one team that seems to know something the other’s do not. The Rays are more avant-garde while the Cardinals just do generally accepted baseball things…better. The Cardinals are the George Clooney of baseball teams – they’re just better. (The irony of Clooney’s Reds fandom is not lost on the author.)
Enjoy the podcast and enjoy the playoffs!
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