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MLB OctoberFest: The St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals had to work their way into the MLB Playoffs, but after winning on Closing Day, the Red Birds the NL’s 5th-Seed!

Blue Jays by Richard Ha is licensed under CC BY 2.0

MLB OctoberFest: The St. Louis Cardinals

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Well, the 2020 MLB Playoffs are upon us.  As baseball finally moves into its Bubble phase, 16 teams are squaring off to determine this year’s World Series champion.  While it’s hard to think that there won’t be an asterisk next to the 2020 title, a champion will be crowned.

The MLB is a fickle beast.  Star-driven and tank-friendly, teams in the dumpster one year can be the king of the mountain the next.  With that, stakes are high for almost every team as they make their playoff run, with sought-after stars often heading for greener pastures if they feel their squad can’t get over the hump. 

We’re looking at each of the MLB playoff contenders and diving into what’s at stake for each team, the odds of making a deep run, and key storylines to watch. 

Let’s hit the St. Louis Cardinals and their chances of securing a ring in 2020.

The St. Louis Cardinals

Expectations: ALDS Ceiling

The St. Louis Cardinals are the 5th-seed in the National League, but somehow didn’t clinch their spot until the final day. That’s a perfect metaphor for how 2020 has gone for them.

The Cardinals are the definition of decent this season as they finish two games above .500. Doing just enough to keep their heads above water has been the name of the game for St. Louis, and you know what? It worked. However, to think that this team is going to magically grow legs in the postseason is a pipedream. If they can manage to get through the hotter than Hades Padres in the Wild Card round, then the NLDS will be their final destination.

What’s Working For Them: Pitching

If you were to have told me that one of the best pitchers on the Cardinals in 2020 would be Adam Wainwright, I would have walked away from you shaking my head in absolute disgust. I would then be forced to call you and apologize for being so rude and then ask you how I’m going to die, because you can see the future.

The Cardinals rotation we thought we’d see in 2020 didn’t materialize the way we all thought it would. Jack Flaherty sputtered out towards the end of the season, Dakota Hudson is on the 60-Day IL, and Daniel Ponce de Leon and Carlos Martinez both failed to live up to their potential.

Instead, Wainwright, Kwang Hyun Kim, and Austin Gomber have picked up the slack. If Flaherty, Wainwright, and Kim can turn in solid performances in the first round, the Cardinals might surprise a lot of us.

What Might Hold Them Back: General Malaise

The Cardinals are limping into the playoffs, and that’s not going to help their cause in a three-game series. Then again, they were able to return from a COVID-19 outbreak this season and still make the playoffs. So perhaps the Cardinals can turn things around. Regardless, we’ll find out sooner rather than later.

Storyline to Watch: The Veterans

Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina have been a part of some historic Cardinals teams. Can they make one more memorable postseason push?

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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