Sometimes a Major League Baseball team in September doesn’t remotely resemble the same club that broke training camp in March. Typically that happens with teams that know by mid-season that there will be no playoffs for them in a given year. Those teams will trade off veterans for prospects and play rookies while retooling for the next season, all the while not caring so much anymore about wins and losses and where they sit in the standings. But every once in a while you get a team like the St. Louis Cardinals, who seemingly overhauled everything in July and are now squarely in the playoff chase. Friday’s Baseball Swarm predicted the Redbirds’ game tonight, along with all 14 contests taking place.
In July, the Cardinals fired their manager and rebuilt their pitching staff and outfield from the ground up by tapping into their talent-rich minor league system and putting rookies into key positions. Since then, they’ve roared to 16 games over .500, and gotten within striking range of the division-leading Chicago Cubs. Tonight they send out one of their talented rookies in Austin Gomber out to face the Tigers in Detroit, and the swarm loves their chances.
As the replay shows, the swarm is bullish on the Cardinals in this spot. The magnets form a rapid consensus here, and it’s to the upper left quadrant for a high confidence pick; there’s not even much dissent on a lower confidence one-run win for St. Louis. What’s maybe most interesting (or confounding) is the swarm picking Cleveland out as their pick of the week. The internal metrics on that Tribe pick are a touch weaker than the St. Louis forecast, but when the swarm had things down to choosing between St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland for their best bet of the night, perhaps the more consistent winner and division leader for the bulk of the season held sway.
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