Don’t Tell Me St. Louis Deserved To Win…

Originally written November 1st, 2006

“Jeff Weaver…ranked 76th out of 80 qualifiers for the ERA title (5.76).”

“Yadier Molina [had a] .216 average during the regular season [which] was higher than only Tampa Bay’s Jonny Gomes among the 200 batters who came to the plate at least 450 times. Naturally Molina led all players in postseason hits (19).”

“David Eckstein [was the] owner of a .487 OPS in the first two rounds of the playoffs and dead last among all batting qualifiers in RBIs (23).”
-Sports Illustrated

Besides those quotes here are some of my findings.

The Cardinals were the worst World Series Champions in baseball history, with a record of 83-78 (they didn’t play a game vs San Francisco). Here are the teams that had better records than them.

Team Record Win % Playoffs?
1 NY Mets 97-65 .599 *
2 NY Yanks 97-65 .599 *
3 Minnesota Twins 96-66 .593 *
4 Detroit Tigers 95-67 .586 *wild card
5 Oakland A’s 93-69 .574 *
6 Chicago White Sox 90-72 .556
7 LA Angels 89-73 .549
8 San Diego Padres 88-74 .543 *
9 LA Dodgers 88-74 .543 *wild card
10 Toronto Blue Jays 87-75 .537
11 Boston Red Sox 86-76 .531
12 Philadelphia Phillies 85-77 .525
13 St. Louis Cardinals 83-78 .516 *assholes

Out of 30 teams in baseball you generally want the top 6 to gain entry (best team in each division), with 2 extra making it through to ensure that no one gets a free week. That is roughly the top 27% of the league. St Louis was in the top 43%.

Let us now compare the average score of their games during the season for the top 17 teams:

Team Average Score Difference
Yankees 5.74 – 4.31 1.43
Tigers 5.07 – 4.17 0.90
Twins 4.94 – 4.22 0.72
Mets 5.15 – 4.51 0.64
White Sox 5.34 – 4.90 0.44
Dodgers 5.06 – 4.64 0.42
Blue Jays 4.99 – 4.65 0.34
Phillies 5.34 – 5.01 0.33
Padres 4.51 – 4.19 0.32
Rangers 5.15 – 4.84 0.31
Red Sox 5.06 – 4.77 0.29
A’s 4.76 – 4.48 0.28
Braves 5.24 – 4.97 0.27
Angels 4.73 – 4.52 0.21
Cardinals 4.85 – 4.73 0.12
Astros 4.54 – 4.44 0.10
Reds 4.62 – 4.94 -0.32

During the regular season 5 of their 7 starters who made more than 10 starts had ERAs over 5.00 combining for a 5.83 ERA together.

Three teams from the NL Central (Cards, Astros, Reds) have the worst differences in average scores. The NL Central was so bad that 7 of the 10 non-NL Central teams had winning records vs it. And guess what, St. Louis had a losing record vs its own division. Furthermore, the Cards had a 21-26 record vs teams with winning records. The one bright spot in their season was sweeping seven games in the middle of July from a Dodgers team that finished that month 9-17.

Now this is the killer, here are the teams St. Louis played the most in each of the divisions it faced:

Team Record Division – Placement Record vs StL
Washington Nationals 71-91 NL East – Last 3-4
Chicago Cubs 66-96 NL Cent – Last 11-8
Colorado Rockies 76-86 NL West – Last 2-7
Kansas City Royals 62-100 AL Cent – Last 2-4

But there is more, continuing with the NL Central sucks theme, 3 of the 4 worst NL teams were in the NL Central, and the Cards played them a whopping 50 times compiling a 26-24 record. The Brewers, Pirates, and Cubs had a combined record of 208-278 for a .428 winning percentage.

Here is some more food for thought:

Division Combined Record Combined Win %
NL East 410-400 .506
NL Central 453-518 .467
NL West 404-405 .499
AL East 401-409 .495
AL Central 421-389 .520
AL West 340-308 .525

Lastly, if shit players get hot in the postseason:

Cardinal RegSeason Stat PostSeason Stat
Jeff Suppan 4.12 ERA 2.49
Jeff Weaver 5.18 ERA* 2.43
Anthony Reyes 5.06 ERA 3.00
Yadier Molina .216 BA .358

* as a Cardinal

…then why even bother with a regular season.


…because they didn’t

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