In a post last Thursday noting that newcomer Marcell Ozuna had yet to take a walk this season, I briefly referenced that the team as a whole wasn't exactly turning heads when it came to drawing walks or making contact. Here's what I wrote specifically:
Cardinals hitters rank in the bottom third in the National League in not only walk rate (8.4 percent - 11/15 in the NL), but strike out rate (25.1 percent - 12/15) as well. Certainly that's a contributing factor as to why they've put up so few crooked numbers this season, and why their team wRC+ (92 - 9/15) is not where it should be.
Turns out - and this wasn't the hardest thing to foresee - the Cardinals just needed to stop playing teams like the Mets and the Diamondbacks and instead play the Reds. After three wins in Cincinnati, here's where Cardinals hitters now rank in the NL by walk rate, strikeout rate, and wRC+:
BB%: 9.6 percent (8/15 in the NL)
K%: 23.9 percent (8/15)
wRC+: 107 (3/15)
As was widely celebrated yesterday, even Ozuna was able to finally draw a walk. Yes, it's the Reds, yes the Cardinals should be beating teams like the Reds, but so far they actually are beating the Reds like they are supposed to, and that's not something that was said as often last season. Or the year before that for that matter (the Cardinals were 10-9 against the last place Reds in 2016 and 2017).
Assuming today's game is not postponed because of rain, I would be perfectly satisfied with the Cardinals taking three of four in Cincinnati. That said, they should just sweep the Reds instead. They are bad.