ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BaseballStL) -- Getting to a best-of-five NLDS against the Cubs may be a long way away. And by long way away, I mean a LONG way away.
First, the Cardinals need to navigate their way through the next week and a half of the regular season and ensure themselves of more than 162 games.
Next, they have to get through the Giants and Mets somehow, some way. That could include playing an extra regular season game (heck, maybe even two extra regular season games) before settling it all in the one game wild card.
Then, if the Cards have survived all that baseball and can face the Cubs in the National League Division Series the Redbirds may have themselves set up nicely with their top three starters.
Playoff baseball is, was and will always be about top flight starting pitching. If you have it, you have as good of a chance of winning as anyone.
With Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright and Alex Reyes pitching well – even with the Cubs doing as well as they did this year – that trio could give the Cardinals a fighting chance.
Martinez’s 3.16 ERA, Reyes’ 1.03 mark combined with Wainwright’s 2.92 ERA at home this season makes you think they could somehow match up with the Cubs’ Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks.
Mike Leake and Luke Weaver (or Jaime Garcia should he return to the rotation) is likely the Cardinals biggest weakness headed into the stretch run.
But remember it’s the big horses at the top that could make the biggest difference if they advance deeper in the postseason.