“The Cardinal Way” is what they call it. That might sound a bit haughty to some, but the results indicate there’s something to it, and it’s not bragging if it’s fact. St. Louis is poised to again be a central figure in the National League pennant chase, and the Cardinals are the favorite to bring home another NL Central title.
There’s really not much debate about this being a model franchise. The Redbirds are big on developing their own talent and instilling a winning attitude from the big league clubhouse all the way down the chain to rookie ball. Their system works.
Taking a look at this year’s edition, there are few weaknesses. Yadier Molina runs the show on the field from his position behind home plate and he remains an elite catcher. Molina is also in phenomenal shape this spring, and that seems to have set the tone for the rest of the Cardinals as well.
Matt Adams, Kolten Wong, Jhonny Peralta and Matt Carpenter will comprise the starting infield reading from right to left. New addition Jason Heyward joins incumbents Jon Jay and Matt Holliday in the outfield. Heyward has a chance to get his five tools together here, moreso that I believe he did in Atlanta. The depth chart looks fine, as usual.
The Redbirds absorbed a tragic of season loss with the death of the tremendously gifted Oscar Taveras. For some organization, this would be a disaster. While it’s clearly a very sad ending to what could have been a remarkable career, the Cardinals went out and grabbed Hayward to fill the regular right field spot. It’s not the ideal set of circumstances for the illustration, but that’s really the Redbirds in a nutshell. There’s never any panic and they just keep rolling along.
You can forget about any bargains on the O/U win total with this team. The only surprise would be if St. Louis suddenly went sour and missed the playoffs. I don’t see that happening. No play here on that win total, as it looks just about right. As for the divisional race, I don’t see the Redbirds getting unseated as champs. Business as usual. It’s “The Cardinal Way.”
2-0 on Monday with the Celtics and Hawks coming through fairly comfortably.
Just a handful of days till the first pitch of the 2015 MLB season is thrown, so just that amount of time to get set up to be with me for the entire season of selections. All plays I make myself are sent out to all clients, no multi-level setups depending on how much is spent. For all the pertinent info fire off an email to me directly at email@example.com.
The Celtics got the job done as Monday’s free play. I’ll look at one of tonight’s tourney games for the Tuesday comp.
(773) TENNESSEE-MARTIN at (774) EVANSVILLE
Take: (774) EVANSVILLE -6.5
Heath Schroyer has done phenomenally well in his first years at the UT-Martin helm. For a program as steeped in mediocrity as this one to still be playing, minor tourney or not, is simply remarkable. The former Wyoming head coach and UNLV assistant has done himself proud in the process.
But my thoughts are that the Skyhawks might not have enough to win tonight as they journey to Evansville. Marty Simmons is a very savvy coach and he’s got a young team that’s getting a great head start on next season with their showing to close this one.
I went the matchup route to determine what I believe takes place here. Evansville is not all that big, but their occasional physical shortcomings won’t be as much of a factor here, as UT-Martin is not a tall team. If that’s the case, the Purple Aces, who really don’t like to rely on outside shooting, simply won’t have to. I think they can get a good number of high percentage shots tonight, and if that is indeed the case, the road team will have trouble keeping the hosts off the scoreboard.
UT-Martin does the have the equalizer as they can knock down shots from anyplace and Evansville can be burned by effective outside shooters. So this is not a slam dunk by any means.
I like the scheduling setup for Evansville. They should be feeling great after scoring two straight road wins, while this is now a fourth consecutive road game for the Skyhawks. At some point one would think that might have an impact on UT-Martin.
The Skyhawks have a terrible history when facing the Missouri Valley Conference. Most of that is inconsequential as it took place prior to the arrival of Schroyer and this year’s squad is vastly superior to recent editions. But there’s still what I believe is a class difference here and I expect that to be a factor tonight. It’s not by any means a cheap number, but I like Evansville to emerge with the win and cover tonight.