Look I'm not saying it is happening. But boy every time I look at this again I don't see why not.
Let me first start by showing off the bracket and how I see every stage going, at least as it stands right now:
Round One - Wild Card Round:
I don't see how we lose. I talked about it on my blog yesterday but I just don't see it happening.
And that's not to say the Padres are bad. But without two of their best starting pitchers they just don't have rotation depth. Looking ahead after game one, the Cardinals have a chance to throw a quality Waino and then Jack in game three if necessary. Do I trust our pen to lock it down that much? No, but I think we can piece it together.
What we will find out is what kind of fight this team has. And more so, what ability they have to put teams away. You have a chance in maybe the 5th or 6th inning of game one to tack on a few runs and turn a three run lead into like a 5-6 run lead and just bury the Padres. And you don't. So it's just tough to rely on that throughout the post season but more on that coming.
I don't see this going more than two games, but if it does I really, really like our chances with Jack on the bump and our lineup hitting like it did in this first game.
Which brings us to the other point.
Dylan Carlson you absolute stud. I knew this man would be good but I did not realize just how good he can be. I mean we are talking maybe gold glover, run at a triple crown type of talent. Because he can do it all and is showing it right now.
And as the broadcast talked about in game one, you are looking at a guy who is just simply locked in right now. He has no holes in his swing because he is just seeing the ball well, as much a product of lucky timing as it is talent. Put that guy behind Goldschmidt and all of the sudden he is getting pitches to hit.
Maybe it showed itself with Goldy's first inning bomb, maybe it was just missed location, but whatever the case may be, going forward Carlson is going to make teams think a lot more and that lineup protection is going to be huge.
Final Prediction: Birds in 2
Round Two - NLDS Round:
So now we start getting into the match up game, predicting not only the outcome of games but who makes it to each series. Although I feel like this one will be easier than others.
Per the time of writing this, the Dodgers are beating the Brewers in game one and while scores may fluctuate I don't anticipate the Dodgers losing this one. However, the key variable with the Dodgers always seems to be the bullpen. And this is a series where all the sudden, no matter which team the Cardinals pull I really love our chances way more than I should.
I want to keep this as stat limited as I can just to make sure it doesn't get wordy but let's just start here: both bullpens suck. Plain and simple. The each boast their "guy", who each in their own respect aren't looking like their usual selves.
Attached below are the stats for the Dodgers' staff.
So who scares me here? Well Dustin May, Walker Buehler, and.... yeah that's about it. Look this assessment isn't entirely fair. I mean it's Cardinals vs. Dodgers in October. Of course I think St. Louis is walking through that series and with good reason.
Here's the other side to this which I noticed in today's game. If it comes down to an arms race of average/slightly above average arms, I think we can hang with a lot of teams to be honest. You have Reyes who appears to be fully healthy and shoving 100, 101, and still has yet to really utilize any offspeed that I have seen.
We saw Gallegos with a huge set of balls throwing a down and away breaking ball that fooled Tatis Jr. and got him swinging at a big moment in today's game. Andrew Miller wasn't great but even he got outs. Genesis Cabrera wasn't as composed as need be, but again without his best stuff was getting outs.
I would run this pen up against a lot of people right now. And not based on facts, just based on composure. Look, we played 37% of our schedule as double headers. We know what it means to face back to back to back days of games. We know how stressful this can be, and we aren't afraid of it. We suffered through the fire, made the post season, and now we are ready for it.
Sit now and compare this as well with the Brewers numbers down below:
Woodruff, Barnes, Hader. That's about the list of people that make me nervous. Devin Williams is down with injury and once again you see the magical gods of post season baseball speaking to St. Louis and saying, "This is your year again."
Final Prediction: Birds in 4 over the Dodgers
And now this leads me to where this blog stops for now. I will leave it at this. We are scary. Not because we have a loaded lineup but because like most Cardinals teams that win a World Series, we are hot at the right time. Dylan Carlson in my opinion looks like the best hitter in baseball and could seriously go up against anyone in the league.
If teams have to key in on him, that opens the door up for Goldy, Dejong, Yadi, Wong, anyone. I have been harsh on this organization and yet here I am being romantic about this team. It's blue collar. It took its hard knocks during this season. It came back from almost sure banishment due to COVID testing. And now here they are.
And with Reyes/Gallegos anchoring the pen, along with Helsley who looked good as well, I have to feel incredibly safe right now. Kim is an unknown by some accounts to teams. Yadi will handle rotations as he always does. Why not the Cardinals?
Final prediction? No matter who it is, I will say Birds in 7. Not out of some Yoda-esque sense of the force, but out of knowledge of who this team is. They are grinders, not world beaters. They show up and work, they fight, but they won't blow you away. And they are going to have to out last teams in a way that other teams aren't ready for.
Who we beat in the NLCS and World Series? Hard to say.
For the NLCS my gut says Cincinati but maybe I just love that team on a personal level because of their personnel. Hard to say. In the World Series, I'm rolling with Tampa because I think the Yankees are choke artists but the Yankees really should find themselves being the team in the world series. And boy a Yankees-Cardinals World Series would maybe be the most hated World Series of all time huh?
Per ESPN game 2 of Padres-Cardinals is set for a 4 PM first Pitch of Davies/Waino, with San Diego the -155 betting favorite. Check back to bigredworld.org for more on my takes about the post season.