One Month In And We're Not Closer To Figuring Out How Good The 2018 Cardinals Are

One Month In And We're Not Closer To Figuring Out How Good The 2018 Cardinals Are

St. Louis Cardinals

One Month In And We're Not Closer To Figuring Out How Good The 2018 Cardinals Are


One calendar month of the 2018 season has expired.

Maybe you feel different, but after 27 games (16.6% of the season) I’m no closer to determining if the Cardinals are good.

And for the purposes our conversation, let’s define ‘good’ as a NL playoff entrant.

True, the ledger shows receipts totaling 15 wins, putting the Birds only 1.5 games in arrears of 1st place in a tightly bunched NL Central division.

The counter?

Cardinals record:

  • Versus Reds = 7-0 (1.00 winning %)
  • Versus everyone else = 8-12 (.400 winning %)

Cardinals series:

  • Versus Reds = 2-0
  • Versus everyone else = 2-4-1

If last Thursday’s extra inning marathon with the Mets would have swung the other way, the Cardinals would have only 1 series win the entire month against teams that aren’t the Reds!


This is not good.

At all.

Like having a Pop-Tart and a pack of Gushers and telling yourself you ‘ate’, a bunch of wins against the Reds early on is only giving us plausible deniability of the truth…


The more rational fan in me?

  • Matt Carpenter = .155 average
  • Dexter Fowler = .170 average
  • Kolton Wong = .194 average

15-12 with 3 out of the 8 non-pitching starting positions hitting under .200 is pretty good!

15 wins per month over 6 months is 90 wins. Rockies made an NL Wild Card spot with 87 wins last season!

Memphis is having another great year (17-7) and if the Cardinals need to make a move, they’ve got assets that could yield a key piece mid-season!

Alex Reyes is OTW!


I want to believe what we’re seeing is a team that is really good figuring out how to put it all together.

At the same time, it’s hard to be too optimistic about the rest of 2018 after seeing the same fits and starts by this team in 2016 and 2017 that never amounted to any sustained momentum (or a playoff berth).

I wish I had something more insightful than ‘time will tell’. But that’s where we’re at with this season of Cardinals baseball.

They’ve feasted on the Reds and been below average against everyone else.

They seem to have the talent, but outside of Tommy Pham (1.3) and Paul DeJong (1.2), no one has an offensive WAR of 1 or more (for perspective, Jedd Gyorko has had 22 at bats this season and is already a 0.6 oWAR, good for 4th best on the team).

The pitching has been pretty good… until critical moments where it hasn’t been.


Cardinals fans waited a long, cold 6 months for the ’18 season to start so everyone could try to erase the memory of a sloggy and apathetic ’17.

One month in, the wait continues.

Photo: Share Icon

Try ESPN+ for Free!

ESPN+ Free Trial!

More Sports

More St. Louis Cardinals