By Jacob Kornhauser on July 22, 2014
Despite a slow start to the season, the Cardinals find themselves right in the thick of the playoff race. Firmly set in the four-team NL Central race, there are several things St. Louis will have to do down the stretch in order to reach the postseason. Here are five adjustments they will have to make if they hope to be playing in October.
This season, the Cardinals have lost Joe Kelly, Michael Wacha, Kolten Wong, Jaime Garcia and Yadier Molina among others. They will have to get solid performances from the their replacements in order to stay in the hunt in the NL Central.
As always, the Cardinals have played really well at home this season. However, they're just 25-24 away from Busch Stadium. If they hope to still be in contention come late September, the team will have to improve their play on the road.
With injuries knocking key pitchers out for extended periods of time, the Cardinals need more pitching depth. They have Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn dominating at the top, but they will need someone to solidify the top of the rotation. Adding someone like ace David Price would surely make the Cardinals the favorites in the NL Central.
Last season, the Cardinals were the best clutch hitting team in baseball history. However, this season their clutch hitting has actually been below average and that needs to improve. Still at the top of the division without much clutch hitting, if the Red Birds can get back to their timely hitting ways, they're likely to reach the postseason.
With four teams battling for the NL Central, divisional games are going to be extremely important down the stretch. The team that wins the division could very well end up being the team that played the best within the division. St. Louis should be circling every game against the Brewers, Pirates and Reds, because those games are going to decide whether or not they win the division.
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