Handicapping Cardinals Stars' Early Odds of Making the 2013 All-Star Game
As the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in New York starts to draw near, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves with several players in contention for a spot.
The current 25-man roster for the Redbirds sports six former All-Stars: Yadier Molina, David Freese, Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn.
With the exception of Freese, each of the other players mentioned will receive some consideration for a spot on the NL squad. Newfound closer Edward Mujica will also get some looks for a spot in the Midsummer Classic.
Here are my thoughts on what each potential Cardinals' All-Star's chances are of making this year's team.
Matt Holliday is having a decent start to his 2013 campaign. While he is batting a very pedestrian .265, he is also making the most of his chances with runners on base.
Holliday is batting .404 with 20 RBI with runners aboard and .444 with 13 RBI when the runners are in scoring position.
Holliday also is tied for second among NL left fielders with 21 RBI.
His only chance to make the team this season will be as a reserve. With a number of outfielders in the NL having a good season, Holliday will have to get that average up and pound a few more home runs to strengthen his case.
Chances of making All-Star Team: 40 percent
Carlos Beltran has been a steady source of offense ever since he put on a Cardinals' uniform and, so far. 2013 is taking shape much like Beltran's All-Star season of 2012.
Beltran has played well in the field and has carried a hot bat into May, hitting .302 with eight home runs and 21 RBI.
Beltran leads NL right fielders with eight home runs and is tied for second with 21 RBI. He still has a plus-arm and solid glove even with his 36-year-old knees.
Beltran has played in seven All-Star Game in his 15-year career. Now in his 16th season, he could very well be on his way to his eighth All-Star appearance, which would be a pretty solid feat.
Chances of making All-Star Team: 80 percent
All Allen Craig seems to do is drive in runs.
Last season, Craig drove in 92 runs in 119 games and has continued to drive in runs at a rapid pace in 2013, as he is second among NL first basemen with 28 RBI. The amazing part is that even though Craig has only belted two home runs, he is still on pace to drive in 128 runs this season
It seems that Craig dials up the focus with runners in scoring position, batting .400 with 22 RBI in 35 at-bats.
While he may not be depositing the ball over the fence at the moment, he is driving in runs and playing a solid first base.
There are no dominating first basemen in the NL, but Craig's lack of home runs will make it hard for him to find a spot on this year's squad.
Chances of making All-Star Team: 35 percent
This will be short and sweet—Yadier Molina has a long All-Star future ahead of him.
Molina has played in four consecutive All-Star games and 2013 will be no different, as he is the best all-around catcher in baseball.
Molina may not put up the offensive numbers of a Buster Posey, but he has learned to hit and is batting .339 in 2013 and hitting .375 with runners in scoring position with 14 RBI.
Posey doesn't even sniff Molina when it comes to defensive prowess behind the plate. The only question for Molina is will he get enough fan votes to be the starter.
Chances of making All-Star Team: 100 percent
Cardinals Starting Pitching
Adam Wainwright is, without question, the Cardinals' ace.
He is leading a staff that is putting up amazing starts in 2013 almost every time out. The Cardinals have the best rotation in baseball with each starter having to get a decent look at making the All-Star team for the moment.
Obviously, the Cardinals' dominant starting pitching will ease back into a normal rotation at some point, but right now, each starter is worthy of an All-Star nod.
Each St. Louis starter has an ERA under 2.72, including two (Jake Westbrook and Shelby Miller) under 2.00.
In fact, all five of the Cardinals starters are in the top 20 pitchers for ERA this season. Only the Washington Nationals have more than one in the top-20.
Obviously, the starters are going to have to keep up the good work to make the NL All-Star team, but if they keep doing what they have been doing, who knows how many Cardinals starters will make the squad?
Wainwright chances of making All-Star Team: 75 percent
Lance Lynn chances of making All-Star Team: 70 percent
Jaime Garcia chances of making All-Star Team: 50 percent
Westbrook chances of making All-Star Team: 40 percent
Miller chances of making All-Star Team: 30 percent
Edward Mujica has been the band-aid to stop the bleeding for the Cardinals in the ninth inning this season.
Mujica is nine-of-nine in save opportunities this season and hitters are batting a paltry .160 off him. The only reason Mujica is not leading the NL in saves is that Mitchell Boggs, Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal have five blown saves between them.
Mujica doesn't throw gas like many of his colleagues in the bullpen, but he has been lights out in the ninth inning. Mujica doesn't put runners on base, as evidenced by his 0.64 WHIP. His efficient pitching at the end of games has given manager Mike Matheny ultimate confidence in his newfound closer.
It is very possible that Mujica could end up with near 20 saves by the All-Star game if his dominance continues.
Chances of making All-Star Team: 75 percent