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Cardinals Back Among Top-Ten World Series Favorites; Mets Drop Out

St. Louis Cardinals celebrate a victory
The average odds of the St. Louis Cardinals winning the 2019 World Series dropped from +3167 to +2300 in the past week. Photo By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • The odds of the St. Louis Cardinals winning the 2019 World Series have improved significantly
  • St. Louis went from +3167 to +2300 in the span of a week
  • The Cardinals have won five of six and moved into first place in the NL Central

The Cardinals are not unlike other contenders in the NL Central battle. They’re a streaky bunch. They get hot. They grow cold.

Lately, they’ve been the former, and that’s forged them a path back to the top of the division and into top-10 contention amidst the 2019 World Series odds.

St. Louis currently sits with average odds of +2300 to win the Fall Classic across an array of leading sportsbooks.

2019 World Series Odds

Team Odds at Bovada*
Houston Astros +225
Los Angeles Dodgers +275
New York Yankees +425
Atlanta Braves +900
Chicago Cubs +1600
Cleveland Indians +1800
Minnesota Twins +1800
Washington Nationals +2000
New York Mets +2200
St. Louis Cardinals +2500

*Odds taken on 08/16/19. Check Bovada for complete list.

The Cardinals were at average odds of +3167 to win the World Series as recently as Aug. 9.

Cardinals and World Series

Count the Cardinals out and that’s generally when you can count on them to make some noise. They opened August by going 1-5 and since have gone 5-1. They posted a six-game winning streak in late July and then finished the month on a 1-3 slide.

There’s a similar pattern to recent World Series wins by St. Louis. In 2011, the Cardinals were 10.5 games out of a playoff spot on August 24th. But an 18-8 September earned them a Wild Card spot, and they made the most of it. St. Louis, 90-72, beat the Texas Rangers (96-66) to win the World Series.

In 2006, the Cardinals finished 83-78. When they defeated the Detroit Tigers  (95-67) in the World Series, they became the worst team to win the Fall Classic.

Flaherty Finds Form

Starting pitcher Jack Flaherty is finally bringing it, as was expected of the right-hander. He’s still only 6-6 with a 3.52 earned-run average for the season.

However, in his last three starts covering 21 innings, Flaherty hasn’t allowed an earned run, while holding opposing batters to eight hits and striking them out 26 times.

He’s posted an 0.44 WHIP over those three games. Flaherty has an 0.70 ERA since the All-Star break.

Overall, St. Louis pitchers are 5th in baseball  with a 4.00 ERA  and the Cards’ xFIP  of 4.37 is 9th-best.

Closing It Out

Losing closer Jordan Hicks on June 25, when it was learned that he’d require Tommy John surgery, was difficult but hasn’t proven devastating to St. Louis’ hopes.

Hicks was 14-of-15 in save situations (93.3) percent. Carlos Martinez has capably filled the closer role since Hicks was hurt. Martinez has saved 13 of 16 (81.3 percent). Overall, Cardinals relievers have recorded an MLB-best 78.72 save percentage.

That’s much better than the bullpens of other NL contenders such as the Braves (61.11) Dodgers (60.78), Nationals (60.00) or Cubs (57.39).

Hitless Wonders

The 2011 Cardinals won the World Series while setting a club record by grounding into a franchise-record 169 double plays, just five shy of the MLB record.

This season’s team also seems determined to prove that they can make hay without making much solid contact.

St. Louis is 24th in the majors in wOBA (.306), 22nd in OBP (.314), and 25th in SLG (.403). Cardinals batters fanned 15 times in Thursday’s loss to Cincinnati.

Can You Count On The Cardinals?

That depends upon the outcome you desire.

St. Louis has picked up only six of its last 33 wins against winning teams. They are 6-14 in their last 20 against above-.500 clubs.

The Cardinals could win the mediocre NL Central. But the World Series? Forget about it.

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