As a writer, mainly covering the Pittsburgh Pirates but a big fan of baseball as a whole nonetheless, it's not hard to pick through some of the best present-day franchises in all of baseball. One of those franchises is none other than the Pirates NL Central division rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, who have owned the NL Central in recent years. The 2015 season has been no different for St. Louis, though they have endured a boatload of injuries throughout the year. If someone would have said that the Cardinals would hold a comfortable lead in the NL Central all while the likes of Matt Adams, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, Jon Jay, and others sat on the bench, people would have called that person crazy. And those were not just the only players to go to the disabled list this year for St. Louis.
However, the unlikely is happening and the Cardinals are poised to win another NL Central division crown. While the Pittsburgh Pirates should not be ruled out just yet, it's safe to assume that the Cardinals are going to take the division yet again and reign supreme in the Central. Following Tuesday's win against the Washington Nationals, St. Louis increased it's lead on the Pirates to six games and the Chicago Cubs still sit 10.5 behind the Red Birds. Both the Pirates and Cubs hold the first and second Wild Card spots, respectively.
The Pirates are having a historically good year, but it's not going to be enough to catch St. Louis. All year, Pittsburgh fans, media, sports talk hosts have all said that the Cardinals have to go on somewhat of a downward slide, regardless of whether or not it lasted a while. But that still has yet to happen and the Cardinals do not look like a team that is going to have a five or six game skid. They are a franchise that is just not built that way. The Cardinals have a great farm system, one of the big reasons they are still playing at an incredibly good pace, so a collapse of any sort may as well be forgotten about at this point. The Cardinals are going to win 100-plus games in 2015 and hold the MLB's best record.
One of the most compelling stories all year has been how well the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs are playing, especially the Cubs because the Pirates have been to the playoffs back-to-back seasons. Thanks to how good St. Louis is, the NL Central must now be considered baseball's best division because the Cubs and Pirates both have very good chances at getting to the World Series, but the Cardinals differ from both the Cubs and Pirates. The Cardinals will be sitting at home relaxing the night of October 7th, when the NL Wild Card game is scheduled for those who are unaware. Because of that, the Cardinals have a far better chance to win it all.
Once again, the St. Louis Cardinals have found a way to be a juggernaut that produces successful season after successful season. They're winning at an incredible rate and they are not going to slow down anytime soon. For the Pirates chances, they have about a 20% chance to catch the Cardinals but that will go to zero if they do anything less than win two out of three this coming weekend in St. Louis. Even if the Pirates can take two games, they still are going to be a long shot to win the Central.
As for the Cardinals, they are looking at bigger things than just winning the division. The Cardinals are ready to do what they have done eleven times, most recently in 2006 and then 2011, and that is win a World Series. It was clearly stated by the performance last year of one Madison Bumgarner that reminded everyone yet again that pitching wins championships in the MLB. The Cardinals have the best rotation ERA in baseball and one of the top tier bullpens around the league to go along with it. The Cardinals are also getting some help from guys coming back from the disabled list, as both Matt Adams and Jon Jay are set to return soon. Adams, who has been enormously clutch especially in the playoffs with St. Louis, is a huge piece to get back in time for the playoffs. It wouldn't come as a shock if St. Louis has 12 World Series crowns when the 2015 postseason comes to an end.