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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Without KC, the American League Owns the Cardinals

I readily admit that I am still angry about 1985. Nothing will ever change that, but let’s be honest; geography is the only reason that Major League Baseball considers the Kansas City Royals to be the St. Louis Cardinals’ interleague rival.

I don’t want to pound on the Royals, though. That would be too easy as they are currently having enough problems as it is. After all, they were just swept at home by the American League’s worst team on paper, the Houston Astros.

One could hope the Royals don’t make a managerial change that might temporarily revive them before their upcoming away and home series with the Cardinals from June 2-5.

All things considered, I am glad the two teams are still scheduled to play annually. With the Astros having moved out of the division and off the interleague schedule, too, the Cardinals have fewer and fewer breathers on the docket.

I thought the 2014 New York Yankees might be in that category, but I was proven wrong. This garden-variety Yankees club that lacked Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez and (mostly) Derek Jeter still won two of three at Busch Stadium – despite ace Masahiro Tanaka not pitching.

That once again reminded me how badly the Cardinals perform against American Leaguers – except for KC.

Here is how bad it has been in recent regular seasons. And just to prove it isn’t about Mike Matheny, the 2011 regular season is included as well, so we have the last three-plus years.

Even with the Royals, St. Louis is just one game over .500 against the Junior Circuit since 2011. Without Kansas City, against whom they are 11-5 since 2011, the Cards have logged a mediocre .432 record against the rest of the AL, 16-21.

At least St. Louis is consistent. They have posted a losing record against the non-KC AL teams in each of the four years.

By the way, over the course of 162 games, a .432 winning percentage would lead to a 70-92 full-season mark. That’s Cubs territory, folks.





Cardinals Record Pct.
Record Pct.
Record Pct.
Record Pct.
Record Pct.
Overall 29-24 .547 97-65 .599 88-74 .543 90-72 .556 304-235 .564
vs. NL 28-22 .560 87-55 .613 80-67 .544 82-65 .558 277-209 .570
vs. AL 1-2 .333 10-10 .500 8-7 .533 8-7 .533 27-26 .509
vs. KC 0-0 3-1 .750 4-2 .667 4-2 .667 11-5 .688
vs. AL except KC 1-2 .333 7-9 .438 4-5 .444 4-5 .444 16-21 .432

I leave you with this closing thought. While the Cards have the four games remaining against KC, they also have 13 more ahead against other AL clubs, all from the tough Eastern Division. They include Toronto (three), Tampa Bay (four), Baltimore (three) and Boston (three).

In other words, the going will not be getting any easier.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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10 Responses to “Without KC, the American League Owns the Cardinals”

  1. crdswmn says:

    However, if you look at the record over the history of interleague play, the Cardinals have a .532 win percentage, the best of any NL team.

    • crdswmn says:

      Correction: that only goes to 2012.

      • Brian Walton says:

        I wonder what that all-time .532 mark would be without KC? Probably not best in MLB, then.

        I guess it gets down to which population you want to compare. Rather than take a historical perspective, I tried to find the middle ground by selecting a time when most of the current players were with the team. You could argue that even including 2011 may not be totally fair then, though my conclusion about recent years’ results would be the same.

        • crdswmn says:

          I went and took the tabled results I linked to , added in 2013 results, then subtracted KC and result was:

          84-84 .500 win pct.

          Didn’t take the time to do the same with the rest of the league, but my guess would be they wouldn’t be #1 but likely in the top half or higher.

  2. Bw52 says:

    Small sample size Brian?

  3. blingboy says:

    If you are a singles hitting team, you have to have an exciting speed game and dazzling defense. Otherwise it just is not a very entertaining product. I have not been able to sit through 3 hours of it, even when I am inclined to do so, which has been less often than in recent years.

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