Cardinals in the hunt?

This post at Baseball Musings talks about the Cardinals’ improved play of late and suggests they can make a run at the NL Central title, noting they are 7 1/2 games back right now and that is equal to the lead they nearly blew last year. While I’m always happy to remember how bad the Cardinals were last year and to point out that they are even worse this year, I would hate to see them make the playoffs. Basically at this point, a good outcome for this season would be if the Astros steal a couple of prospects in trades and the Cardinals and Yankees both miss the playoffs.

I’m pretty confident the Cardinals will fall short. They don’t have the pitching to make it and their offense, despite a recent resurgence, doesn’t have enough to make up the difference. The postseason odds calculator at Baseball Prospectus gives them less than a 2% chance to sneak in. In contrast, it gives the Yankees a 15% chance. Still, it’s nice if the Cardinals cling to hope of the post-season, because that would prevent them from making some sensible deals to retool for next year. If the Astros would face reality and realize how desperate their straits truly are, they could get a leg up on next year and be better prepared to contend again.

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