Daily Notes: Seriously, the Cardinals Offense

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: St. Louis at Los Angeles NL, 22:10 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: St. Louis at Los Angeles NL, 22:10 ET
Status Update: St. Louis Offense
As of Friday, St. Louis continued to lead the majors both in batter WAR (13.3) and wRC+ (128).

Other Status Update: St. Louis Offense
On Friday, St. Louis scored four runs through the first three innings* of their game against Ted Lilly and the Dodgers (although, as their .322 wOBA through those first three innings indicates, it wasn’t necessarily a dominant performance early on).

*At which point, the author, who shares a great deal in common with America’s geriatric population, made his way bedward.

A Hypothetical Cardinals Lineup
Below is a hypothetical — perhaps even likely — lineup for the Cardinals tonight. (Note: WAR/600 is WAR per 600 plate appearances so far this season.)

1 Rafael Furcal SS 167 .400 166 2.2 7.9
2 Tyler Greene 2B 76 .295 118 0.3 2.4
3 Matt Holliday LF 170 .283 124 1.5 5.3
4 Carlos Beltran RF 146 .299 188 2.0 8.2
5 Lance Berkman 1B 47 .433 155 0.4 5.1
6 David Freese 3B 146 .315 135 1.3 5.3
7 Yadier Molina C 140 .303 147 1.8 7.7
8 Shane Robinson CF 56 .333 91 0.6 6.4
Average 118.5 1.3 6.4

Of Note Regarding That Lineup
Of note regarding that hypothetical — perhaps even likely — lineup is that the batters in it have averaged 6.4 WAR per 600 plate appearances so far this season, which would be an MVP-worthy season from an individual.

Regarding If You Replace Beltran with Craig
If you replace the semi-injured Carlos Beltran in that lineup with Allen Craig, the team’s average production drops… all the way to 6.3 WAR per 600 plate appearances.

Starting Pitchers
Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook (46.0 IP, 91 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR) faces Dodger lefty Clayton Kershaw (52.2 IP, 84 xFIP-, 1.1 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
FanGraphs readers prefer Dodgers Television (link).

Other Notable Games
New York NL at Toronto | 13:07 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
In a discussion of Defensive Run Efficiency at The Book blog on Thursday, Tom Tango found that Toronto leads the league so far this season in converting balls in play to outs (link). As for the Mets, they’re 28th-best at that.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.

Pittsburgh at Detroit | 16:05 ET
With the exception of one decidedly miserable start on May 2nd at St. Louis, during which he conceded 12 runs in just 2.2 innings, A.J. Burnett has been excellent so far as a Pirate. Line: 31.2 IP, 23.3% K, 5.3% BB, 54.8% GB, 2.73 SIERA, 72 xFIP-, 0.7 WAR.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.3.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Homer Bailey CIN 5 4 6 6 7 NYA Ivan Nova 13:05
Miguel Batista* NYN 1 2 4 6 6 TOR Brandon Morrow 13:07
Anibal Sanchez MIA 8 4 5 4 3 CLE Jeanmar Gomez 16:05
Tyson Ross OAK 4 4 3 4 1 SF Ryan Vogelsong 16:05
A.J. Burnett PIT 10 1 7 2 7 DET Drew Smyly 16:05
Randall Delgado ATL 5 8 6 7 7 TB Alex Cobb* 16:10
Carl Pavano MIN 3 2 4 5 4 MIL Yovani Gallardo 16:10
Jason Vargas SEA 3 3 6 7 10 COL Christ. Friedrich* 16:10
Ian Kennedy AZ 5 5 5 6 5 KC Bruce Chen 19:15
Jason Hammel BAL 8 6 7 4 6 WAS Ross Detwiler 19:15
Jon Lester BOS 4 6 5 4 6 PHI Joe Blanton 19:15
John Danks CHA 1 4 4 3 8 CHN Ryan Dempster 19:15
Derek Holland TEX 6 10 5 6 2 HOU Lucas Harrell 19:15
Dan Haren LAA 6 2 4 5 3 SD Eric Stults* 22:05
Jake Westbrook STL 6 10 8 6 9 LAN Clayton Kershaw 22:10

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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17 Responses to “Daily Notes: Seriously, the Cardinals Offense”

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  1. Mr. Wisdom I am Not says:

    So where are all those people who think the Cards aren’t due for huge regression??

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    • mattybobo says:

      I only found one man so far who made that claim, and it turns out he was made of straw.

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  2. Jeff Mathis Does Steroids says:

    Baseball fan 1: “Hey, you want to watch the St Louis/Dodgers game? Clayton Kershaw is pitching!”

    Baseball fan 2: “Are you freaking kidding me? AJ Burnett is pitching for the Pirates tonight! You cannot name another pitcher worth seeing more than AJ Burnett!”

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    • JDanger says:

      Yeah, whats up with that?

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    • 81 says:

      I’m going to pick a nit here and say that the game projected NERD score for STL vs. LAD is higher than the projected NERD for PIT vs. DET. So your attempt at ridicule by way of a hypothetical conversation between the most uncreatively named baseball fans on earth just isn’t happening.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        The argument he’s making is that thinking Burnett is as much of a pleasure to watch as Kershaw is insane. Seriously need to reconsider how the score is made.

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  3. DrBGiantsfan says:

    Well, we know they aren’t going to regress, because as this site preaches constantly, regression never happens!

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    • Jason B says:

      The good doctor is well acquainted with the Straw Man introduced earlier, it appears…

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  4. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Who is Shane Robinson and how is he so WARlicious?

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  5. JeremyR says:

    I think most of the regression is going to be pitching. Furcal is, obviously, but Berkman, Holliday, Beltran, Freese, and Craig are just good hitters. Molina seems to have become a decent hitter as well.

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    • Trevor says:

      I think health will be the biggest factor in any possible “regression” for the Cards offense. Berkman is just off the DL. Craig just went on. We know about Freese and Furcal’s history of injuries. Beltran and Holliday are no spring chickens, and no strangers to getting nicked up. If the Cards can keep most of these guys healthy, they’re in good shape. But health is probably as big or bigger of an “if” for the Cards offense as it is for any other team. If one or two more guys end up on the DL, or with injuries that they can play through, but affect their performance, that’s where regression could come in.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Berkman is back on the DL. I guess it’s more “regression to having old man knees”.

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  6. Bip says:

    What offense? I looked for it but all I found was Clayton Kershaw.

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  7. David says:

    Clearly Pujols was holding the Cards back…

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  8. Kris says:

    So the Cards have beaten up on poor teams in the NL Central and have been swept by Atlanta (at home no less) and LA recently. I’m not saying the Cards don’t have a good line-up, but to read Fangraphs you would think they are the second coming of the ’27 Yankees. There has been virtually nothing written about the offensive production of Atlanta, who I think has been more impressive and more likely to sustain the offensive output over the year.

    Let’s take a look at the WAR and wRC+ contribution of Atlanta’s offense.

    Bourne 2.3 WAR, wRC +126
    Prado 2.2 WAR, wRC +148
    Freeman 1.0 WAR, wRC +122
    McCann 1.0 WAR wRC +114
    Uggla 1.2 WAR, wRC +116
    Jones 1.1 WAR, wRC +139
    Heyward 1.3 WAR, wRC +121
    Pastornicky -0.5 WAR, wRC +86

    Atlanta’s offensive production has been mighty impressive especially when you consider their schedule and the fact that their line-up isn’t filled with a bunch of guys performing way beyond their career line’s. So, why all the love for the Cards Fangraphs?

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    • Michael says:

      Put Prado and Freeman on the DL than compare to Cardinals offense.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        compare the relative health of a 23 year and a 27 year old vs old guys in baseball. You can’t discount injury possiblity. Yea yea, “injury is always a possiblility” but with Freese, Berkman, Beltran, and Furcal, it’s bound to happen. These aren’t pitchers where their arms can fall off at 24.

        Second, who cares. Take out all the guys massively over performing, put them at their expected level. Then look at the Braves, not a lot of guys over performing. The gap isn’t as big then, it’s even smaller when you consider the competition.

        Speaking of the competition, how the hell is it that Atlanta faces the Yankees 6 times, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Boston, yet Philly doesn’t? I understand not playing the same teams as teams in other divisions for interleague, but your own division?

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