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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Matt Kemp

6/2011 Team Scope: St. Louis Cardinals

June 8th 2011 15:11
Even without one of the best pitchers in baseball and staff ace Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals are the best team in the NL Central. They are currently two and a half games ahead of the second place Milwaukee Brewers. Albert Pujols has just started to turn up the heat after being in the worst slump of his career since he was a rookie.

Pujols is only going to get better from here on out, and another sign that points to this is his .257 BABIP. He currently has 14 dingers with 43 runs and 39 RBIs. Lance Berkman has been the story of the team so far. Although he has sucked in the field, as expected, he's been mashing it this year. Bekman is a terrible right fielder, but the Cardinals will take it given his great hitting ability.

Matt Holliday has been the best on the Cards so far this year, but you really have to keep an eye on his too good to be true .395 BABIP. One other note, Berkman also knows how to take a walk. Anyway, Colby Rasmus has looked out of sorts for a little. His fielding and baserunning definitely help him, but I worry about that .325 BABIP, .269 BA, and 22.2% K rate. Rasmus has been nothing less than intriguing thus far.

Ryan Theriot really can't field. Why did they sign him and trade Brendan Ryan again? I asked this same question a long time ago, and Theriot has done nothing to prove me wrong. Ryan can actually play shortstop. Well, look on the bright side. At least Theriot has, for the most part, come in the clutch this year. Look on the dark side- to quote Tony from Psych- because Theriot is struggling against fastballs. At least he's hitting sliders though, and he doesn't swing at stuff outside the zone either. The book on Theriot is that he can't hit, and pitchers give him a steady diet of fastballs too.

Speaking of pitchers, Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse have been great this year. The scary thing is that Garcia and ace Chris Carpenter are only going to get better. Carpenter has been very unlucky this year so far. Fernando Salas has been doing well as the new closer, and he'll continue to play well. I don't like his low ground ball percentage, but he's not going to suddenly drop off.

Lohse's slider and changeup have been absolutely nasty this year. I am also liking Carp's curve. Jaime Garcia and Kyle McClellan are also effectively changing speeds right now. Salas, Carpenter, and Garcia are getting hitters to swing out of the zone.

I think the Cardinals will be able to win their division, but they will definitely be challenged by the Brew Crew and the Reds. While the Cardinals aren't a great team, they have two very good pitchers as well as a lineup that features four fantastic and fearsome hitters.
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1 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by nbageek

June 9th 2011 01:48
Good stuff yet again. The Cards are always a tough team to keep down. Appears things are heading this direction again.

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