Cardinals Emerge As Early National League Favorites Thanks To Balanced Roster

play_pow_14The St. Louis Cardinals went pretty far in 2012, coming up just short of reaching their World Series goal. After a strong start to the 2013 season, it appears as though the Cardinals are on track to emerge as the early National League favorites to go all the way. St. Louis had won six-straight before the Chicago Cubs finally ended their streak on Tuesday night, and with the best record in the NL so far this season it is clear they have what it takes to make some serious noise. The Cardinals have won 20 of their first 32 games, and the balance throughout their roster makes them a legitimate threat to go all the way this online sports betting season.

The St. Louis offense has scored more runs than any other NL team with 151, and while that ranks seventh in the majors overall, there is no doubt that there is enough power in their lineup to be a serious sports betting threat. Yadier Molina is having a year for the ages early on with a team-leading .333 batting average, and has been the best of the six Cardinals’ hitters that are batting better than .255 on the season. Carlos Beltran has provided the bulk of the power with a team-leading eight home runs, with Matt Holliday, Matt Carpenter, and Jon Jay providing some solid depth.

As impressive as the hitting power that St. Louis has is, the numbers put up by the pitching staff to this point have been even better. The Cardinals lead the majors in quality starts with 23, and their combined 3.09 ERA is the best in the big leagues. The one potential weakness was expected to be in the bullpen with closer Jason Motte set to miss the remainder of the year after having surgery on his elbow, but Edward Mujica has thrived in the role and has posted a 2.08 ERA on the way to earning eight saves. Jaime Garcia, Adam Wainwright, and Shelby Miller already each have four live betting wins, but all three pitchers trail Lance Lynn in that category, as he already has five on the year. Not a single one of those starters has an ERA north of 2.72, with Westbrook’s 1.07 ERA the best of the group.

It is still early in the online sportsbetting season and the Cardinals still have a long way to go, with potential factors like injuries playing a role in how far they truly can go. St. Louis also has a difficult division to deal with, but they have done an excellent job so far this year and right now there is no reason to think it will stop. The Cardinals own a top-10 offense, the best pitching staff in the majors, and have the experience and depth to be a serious World Series contender. All of that adds up to St. Louis being a serious contender in the NL, and it will be interesting to see just how far they end up going. For all of the latest MLB news and betting odds and more, be sure to check out the best sports betting sites.