The St. Louis Cardinals lost last year, and they did so in painful fashion, dropping the seventh game to the eventual champs in what was a monumental clash of the then preeminent powers in the National League. The champs have since underachieved, stuck in the bottom of their own division, the San Francisco are going to need to wait until next year if they have any hope of winning yet another World Series. The Cardinals on the other hand, are in position to win their second title in three years matching the pace sent by the team that just spent last October sending them home. They face an uphill challenge as always as is the case for any team in the Majors, but the Cardinals know they have an arsenal of ballplayers that are just waiting for yet another shot at the championship. The Cardinals are the class of the National League this season, and any team looking to go through them is going to be in for one heck of a fight.
The Cardinals possess a wealth of talent the likes of which the 29 other teams can only lust after. They have the top shelf talent in the rotation with staff ace Adam Wainwright en route to a possible Cy Young award and first year standout Shelby Miller a darkhorse to claim the Rookie of the year award. This doesn’t even take into account the presence of strikeout maven Lance Lynn and a bullpen that’s anchored by flamethrower Trevor Rosenthal and groundball specialist Edward Mujica. It’s an excellent pitching staff and one that ranks as one of the best in the Majors, but what the Cardinals really hang their hats on is their offensive prowess. Powered by the always excellent Yadier Molina, the Cardinals feature one of the more potent lineups in the Major Leagues. Molina is surrounded by an army of other highly capable hitters such as outfielders Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran, first baseman Allen Craig and past postseason hero David Freese. As far as lineups go, that’s about as deep as they come, and they even feature a potent bench that’s capable of delivering big hits, highlighted by lefty-swinging Matt Adams and slick-fielding Daniel Descalso, but the team’s biggest contributor this year may be Matt Carpenter, a former utilityman turned second baseman who’s one of the league leaders in numerous offensive categories at his position. All of them together form one heck of a Major League roster, and what’s scary is that they have even more talent waiting in the wings.
Minor Leaguers Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras are viewed as some of the more polished and big-league ready prospects in the game with the requisite talent that may actually enable them to make an impact and even become all-stars. Even prized prospect Michael Wacha was unable to claim a spot on the big league roster after a few stellar starts because of the overpopulation of talented players. All this means is that the Cardinals are set for the long haul, and this may just be the beginning of a modern day dynasty developing in the city of St. Louis.
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