St. Louis Cardinals: Things That Need to Happen to Take NL Central Lead

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St. Louis Cardinals: Things That Need to Happen to Take NL Central Lead
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Yadier Molina (4), David Freese (23) and the St. Louis Cardinals remain a step away from regaining control of the NL Central.

The St. Louis Cardinals' standing among National League statistical leaders does not match their standing in the NL Central division race.

They own the biggest run differential in Major League Baseball at +86. They rank first in the NL in runs (464), batting average (.276) and on base percentage (.343) and second slugging percentage (.434).

Baseball Reference calculates that the Cardinals should garnish a 56-39 record, which would be good enough to lead the NL Central by one game.

Instead, St. Louis still sits five games out of first place and two games out of a wild card spot at 50-45.

Before their sweep of the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals owned a 27-34 record after May 11. Only the Cubs, Rockies and Astros performed worse in the NL over that span.

Why do the numbers and records not match up? What does St. Louis need to do to pull off another late-season rally into the playoffs?

Let's take a look.

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