After a great month of May in which the Cardinals went 20-7, the Cards have been scuffling in June, with just a 12-11 record so far. However, when you take a look at the team's stats for the month, it makes you wonder why they are only one game over .500.
For the month of June, the Cardinals lead all NL teams with 122 runs scored, while giving up only 88 (8th fewest among NL teams). Using the Pythagorean Winning Percentage formula, the Cards should have a winning percentage of .658 for the month or a 15-8 record.
So, why are the Cardinals falling 3 games short?
Its mainly due to the way the Cards have been winning and losing. Said another way, when they win, they win big, when they lose, its usually close.
In the games that the Cardinals have won, the average margin of victory has been 5.25. 8 of their 12 wins for the month have been by 5 or more runs.
On the other side, in the games the Cardinals have lost, the average margin has been just 2.87 runs. However, what is more telling is that, in those losses, the Cardinals have averaged only 2.4 runs, while in their victories, the Cards have averaged 7.8 runs. A pretty big discrepancy and one that indicates that the Cards are becoming kind of an all-or-nothing type of offensive team.
Another telling statistic is that, for the season, the Cardinals are only 8-8 in one run games and 1-4 in extra innings. Part of that is due to the early season struggles of the bullpen, but it makes one wonder how the Cards will fare in the playoffs, which are usually close games, when they struggle in those types of games.
The Cardinals have proven the can put runs on the board in bunches, but can they do it consistently. The team is last in stolen bases and tied for 11th in home runs, so they are not using their speed to manufacture runs, nor are they relying on the "two bloops and a blast" offense.
What has carried them so far this season is their ability to hit with men in scoring position. The Cardinals lead the league with a .336 average with MISP, nearly 60 points higher than the next closest team, the Rockies, who have a .278 average.
Can the Cardinals keep up that pace or is it just a small sample size aberration?
That will likely determine the Cards fate going forward.