clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

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

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

Getty Images

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.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.