Cardinals Win 8th in a Row, Tied with the Brewers in the Loss Column - Which Team Scares You More?

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Cardinals Win 8th in a Row, Tied with the Brewers in the Loss Column – Which Team Scares You More?

Chicago Cubs

En route to winning their eighth straight game last night, the Cardinals got a huge scare when Matt Carpenter – who has been carrying the offensive load for months with an MVP-caliber campaign – took a pitch off the hand and had to immediately leave the game.

But X-rays were negative, the swelling subsided, and Carpenter is even expecting to play today.

With the win, the Cardinals are now just a game behind the Brewers in the NL Central, 4.0 back of the Cubs. Moreover, each club has the same number of losses, at 55.

This winning streak will eventually end for the Cardinals, to be sure, but they have now put themselves squarely in position to leave us asking … which team are you more worried about behind the Cubs?

On the one hand, the Brewers probably do have the better overall roster, but I’ve long thought that the way their bullpen has been used – and the extreme good fortune in the rotation – would eventually catch up to them. Seeing them fade a bit from here would not be a shock.

But on the other hand, the Brewers do have more head-to-head games left against the Cubs (six versus three for the Cardinals), and they have what looks to be a lighter schedule the rest of the way compared to the Cardinals.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals have a schedule loaded with contenders the rest of the way. But because of injuries, they’ve been forced to spread their innings around a little more in the rotation and in the bullpen, so there might be a little less concern about them wearing down in the same way as the Brewers. But if Carpenter at any point stops playing like literal Babe Ruth, can they keep winning? I have my doubts.

In the end, I’d probably give the slight edge to the Brewers, perhaps by the same slim margin you see there in the standings. The two clubs will have to take their race to the field starting Friday, though, as they will square off for a three-game set in St. Louis.

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.