June 23, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) looks on as his team plays the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals Face Crucial Road Trip

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The Cardinals were swept over the weekend by the Texas Rangers and while they are still in 1st place, the Pirates and the Reds are not far behind. From today until July 3rd, the Cardinals will be on a 8 game road trip.

Road Trip Opponents:

Astros (2 games)

Athletics (3 games)

Angels (3 games)

What’s at stake:

Credibility

The Cardinals credibility took a hit after their first time being swept in 2013 against a very good Rangers team. Critics have been pointing to the Cardinals’s weak schedule and saying they haven’t been tested. Now the Cardinals get a chance once again in this road trip by traveling to Oakland to take on the Athletics. After that series, they face Albert Pujols for the first time since he left St. Louis by traveling to LA to face the Angels. While the Angels and the Astros are struggling, it’s important to go on the road and to take each series.

First place in the NL Central

The Cardinals were the benefactor of a controversial call in the one game wild card playoff against the Atlanta Braves. The one game playoff is an okay idea but it’s obviously not an ideal situation. You would rather want to win your division and figure out who the best team is in a 5 game series. The NL Central is going to be tight all season long and it might have three teams in the playoffs. It would be tough for the Cardinals to go up against either the Reds or Pirates in a 1 game winner take all scenario for a second straight year. Winning the NL Central will help the Cardinals reach the World Series.

Road Trip Prediction:

Sweep Houston, lose series 2-1 to Oakland, and win the series 2-1 against the Angels.

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Tags: Baseball St. Louis Cardinals

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