(BaseballStL) -- How fans feel about the St. Louis Cardinals often depends on how they did the previous night. A win produces euphoria and October schedule-clearing. A loss and we vow not to watch tonight’s game.
So, depending on your mood here are five things to make you feel really good about the Redbirds, and five things to worry about.
Good news first.
1). According to a formula developed by baseball statistics guru Bill James, the Cardinals should be 71-42, not 66-47. The reason? Bad luck. James developed something called the Pythagorean formula (which brings back bad memories of high school geometry), that computes runs scored against runs allowed and calculates, essentially, whether a team has been lucky or unlucky. The Cards have definitely been unlucky, according to James.
2). The Pittsburgh Pirates should buy lottery tickets, according to James’ formula. Using the same metrics as above, James calculates the Pittsburgh Pirates should be 64-49, meaning they have gotten waaaaay more of their runs scored than they should have. If baseball went according to formula, the Cards would have a 7 game lead in the Central. It has to even out. Doesn’t it?
3). We have nine more games against the depleted Chicago Cubs, against whom we are 6-4 this year, eight more against the Brewers (8-2), seven more against the Reds (8-4) and three against Washington (3-0). And, still nine more against the Bucs so we can easily make up ground fast.
4). Even if we don’t catch Pittsburgh, we are eight games ahead of Arizona, the next closest team in the wild card race (assuming we fell past the reds). The Cards will make the play-offs and that’s where we traditionally turn it on.
5). Our attendance this year is 2.2 million, third behind San Francisco and the Dodgers. The fans still support the Cardinals.
Okay. Feel better? If you’re giddy, better consider these five issues.
1). Since June, the Cardinals have essentially played just .500 baseball. They were 35-18 after the fist two months of the year, played dead even in June and July and are 4-3 so far this month.
2). The Cards are just 1-5 in extra inning games, 13-13 in one-run games and 12-16 against lefties. They have only won 11 times this year when they score three runs or less.
3). They are 45-20 against teams below .500 but just 21-27 against teams with a winning record. There will not be any teams with losing records in the play-offs.
4). The Pirates have a winning record against teams over .500, against lefties, in one run games, extra inning games, in home and road games and in inter-league play. They are not a fluke.
5). If we face Cincinnati in a one-game wild card play-off, the Cards are 0-2 against Matt Latos, scoring just three runs total in those losses.