Braves vs. Cardinals Preview: No Albert Pujols, No Problems For St. Louis

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 09: The St Louis Cardinals line up in the dugout to congratulate Allen Craig #21 after he hit a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on May 9, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Cardinals have been the best offensive team in baseball this season.

The St. Louis Cardinals lost Albert Pujols this past offseason, just months after an unfathomable championship run. While the fan base was certainly distraught following the loss of a guy who appeared on his way to becoming one of the greatest of all-time, it did signify the start of a new era in St. Louis. For a city that absolutely loves their Cardinals baseball, it was a refreshing breath of fresh air.

A little more than a month into the season, the Cardinals are playing like they did in September and October. They're tied for the second-best record in baseball (20-11), have the highest team WAR of anyone, led the league in runs scored as of Thursday, and have a very good, deep lineup each and every night.

For my money, this is the best team in the game as of May 11. And I don't think this changes in the next five months, either; unless St. Louis catches an awful case of the injury bug, they aren't going to lose many games going forward.

Their current lineup goes a little something like this in terms of OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) -- .932, .959, .799, 1.165, .925, .882, .926, .751.

That is insanely good, and that doesn't even include Lance Berkman, who is expected to return to the lineup this weekend. Fun stuff.

Good luck and God Speed, Braves pitchers. Go get 'em.

Pitching Matchups & Start Times:

Friday, 8:15 p.m. ET: Mike Minor (2-2, 5.97 ERA, 3.61 xFIP) vs. Jaime Garcia (2-2, 3.76 ERA, 3.94 xFIP)

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET: Brandon Beachy (3-1, 1.62 ERA, 3.89 xFIP) vs. Adam Wainwright (2-2, 5.61 ERA, 2.65 xFIP)

Sunday, 2:15 p.m. ET: Tommy Hanson (3-3, 3.63 ERA, 3.99 xFIP) vs. Lance Lynn (6-0, 1.40 ERA, 2.90 xFIP)

For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.