Can the Cardinals Win the Wild Card Game? | A Closer Look

Can theCardinals Win the Wild Card Game

Can the Cardinals Win the Wild Card Game?

The Cardinals charged into the playoff picture with an excellent month of September. This led to them passing teams such as the Red and Padres and clinching the 2nd Wild Card in the Nation League. However, they may have the most difficult Wild Card match-up we have seen since the invention of the one-game playoff.

Dodgers or Giants, Take Your Pick

The Giants lead the Dodgers in the NL West by two games as of this article’s writing. Both teams have won over 100 games this season. If San Francisco can hold their current division lead, the Cardinals will be tasked with heading to LA and taking on arguably the best roster in baseball in the Dodgers.

If the Dodgers can come back and capture the division, then St. Louis would have to head to San Francisco and play a team stacked with veteran leadership and playoff experience in the Giants.

So either way, the Cards have their work cut out for them. But could they do the unthinkable and defeat one of these powerhouses?

Trust in Waino

Can the Cardinals win the Wild Card Game

Adam Wainwright not only recently signed an extension to stay in St. Louis for the 2022 campaign, but the veteran right-hander has been named Wednesday’s Wild Card starting pitcher for the Cardinals.

Wainwright has quietly been very impressive in 2021. He has pitched to the tune of a 3.05 ERA with 174 strikeouts and a 17-7 record. While the sabermetrics people don’t believe that wins and losses mean anything, it could end up being the most important stat for this one-game playoff.

The Cardinals win when Wainwright is on the hill. In fact, over his 16 years with the Cardinals, he has 184 victories compared to only 105 losses. And in a game where you literally have to win or go home, I would say that means something.

The 40-year-old has toed the rubber in plenty of big games and is going to give his team a chance to win on Wednesday.

Cardinals Find Ways to Win Games

In the end, you can have players put up monster seasons and still lose games. For example, take the San Diego Padres. Fernando Tatis JR. is mashing the ball this season and leads the NL in homers.

But on the defensive end, it has not been so pretty. Despite some incredible highlight-reel catches, he has committed over 20 errors playing a premium position at shortstop. That is going to lead to losses for a team, and the Padres are not in the playoffs.

On the other hand, St. Louis has the highest amount of defensive runs saved in all of baseball. With tremendous fielders in players such as Yadier Molina, Nolan Arenado, and Harrison Bader, they not only make web gems but also consistently display quality fundamentals and make the routine plays as well.

Can the Cardinals Win the Wild Card Game?

With the experience of Wainwright in games such as this and their ability to win games on defense, if the Cardinals can score just a few runs they are going to give themselves an opportunity to win.

 


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