I’m aware that as you are reading this title, that none of you asked for this. But I want to throw my hat in the ring with some explanations for why some guys are in there.
A lot of you have lost faith in this team. Not everyone, but a fair amount. I haven’t lost hope quite yet, and I truly believe there is talent on this team. Maybe even enough to challenge the top teams in the league. If we came down to game 7 of the World Series… This is my lineup.
1. Matt Carpenter – 1B
And I’ve lost some of you already. Look, I love Jose Martínez, and we will get to him, but Carpenter plays a better 1B. Wow. Can’t believe I said that. As of June 5th, Martinez had a -0.1 WAR because of shoddy defense.
Jose Martínez – June 5th WAR: -0.1 oWAR: 0.9 dWAR: -1.2 Jose Martínez WAR June 14th WAR: 0.8 oWAR: 1.8 dWAR: -1.4 He had a good week of hitting the ball. That’s what we need. #STLCards
To his credit, he went on an offensive tear, but the defense still remains a problem for me.
Carpenter on the other hand, isn’t exactly a premier defender in his own right, but would be better suited at first than any other position. His early offensive woes seem to be behind him, and he currently sports a .232/.335/.418 slash line. Not up to his career numbers just yet, but he is trending up. His last 30 games he has a .294/.354/.513 line. If he keeps that up he should get some more love from the fans.
2. Tommy Pham – RF
What can you say about Pham. He has the tools you want from a player. He is fast. He can hit. He can field. He has pop. What else can you want? Consistency. He has had a pretty good year thus far, but is trending down at the moment. Where Carpenter has excelled, Pham has regresse . Over his past 30 games he has a .218/.266./318 slash with 36 strikeouts. Throughout his career he has shown that he can be a difference maker and he deserves to be near the top of the lineup. While he is a good defender, I believe he will be better suited in Right Field for reasons you’ll see later.
3. Jose Martínez – DH
Ahhhhh. That makes sense. Why DH? I just have a feeling that An AL team has a better record given the current standings and gets home field. But this makes sense for a lot of reasons. 1. You get his bat in the lineup. 2. You don’t have to worry about his costly defense. It’s a win- win. He is a line drive hitter and has shown he can be one of the best hitters in baseball. We have no doubt about that.
4. Marcell Ozuna – LF
I feel bad for Ozuna in a lot of ways. I think he had a lot of pressure to perform and be that big bat in the lineup, but I think he is finally turning it around. His power stroke has finally come into play which is what many fans were hoping for. He wasn’t having a bad year offensively, but we wanted pop. He hit .270 in April, .273 in May, but has been on fire in June so far hitting .400 with 5 of his 8 home runs this season. His defense hasn’t been the gold glove caliber we were expecting, but he has shown flashes of his abilities.
5. Paul DeJong – SS
I’m assuming by this point DeJong will be healthy and back in the lineup. No offense to Muñoz who has played admirably, but this is DeJong’s spot. Before going on the DL with a fractured hand, DeJong was having a solid sophmore season with a .260/.351/.473 slash with 8 home runs. My early prediction of DeJong mashing 40 homers seems to be a bust, but he is a crucial part of this team. His defense has also improved over a season ago. Last year he had a 0.4 dWAR and through just 41 games played he has matched it with a 0.4 dWAR. He signed a very team friendly extension and should be an integral piece moving forward.
6. Harrison Bader – CF
I’ve been high on this kid for a while. He’s been an absolute stud I’m basically every aspect of the game. He is one of the best defenders in baseball and he can attribute that to his speed. He has a 1.1 dWAR on the season and if you’ve seen him play, it makes a lot of sense. He has underrated power to all parts of the field and hits for good average as well. Defensively he is probably your best outfielder, and his speed will cover centerfield nicely.
7. Jedd Gyorko – 3B
For crying out loud put him in the lineup. Last season he was one of the best defensive 3B in the game. Gyorko is a very underrated player on both sides. He has power. He hits for a decent average. He’s got a strong arm. Why isn’t he playing? I have no idea. (I know. It’s Matheny’s fault) (just a joke y’all). He hasn’t gotten enough opportunities to show what he can do offensively this season but has made up for it with a 0.6 dWAR in only 49 games. If it’s game 7… Jedd is playing. End of discussion.
8. Yadier Molina – C
I don’t have to justify this.
9. Kolten Wong -2B
HIS DEFENSE PLAYS. I understand he is batting .185 on the year. Believe me. I’ve been on Twitter, but his defense makes up for it. If you can play Martínez even though he is a defensive liability, at least Wong gets some of those runs back. He is the best 2B in the Majors with 8 defensive runs saved. Like Bader he owns a 1.1 dWAR on the season which is more than enough to make up for his offensive woes.
Pitching – Miles Mikolas
Technically won’t be in the lineup having to hit his way aboard, I thought it would be fun choosing a starter for this magical game. Right now it’s between 3 guys – Carlos Martínez, Michael Wacha, and Miles Mikolas. I have to go with Mikolas simply because he limits baserunners. Martínez has been erratic at times this season and that’s hard to look past in a game like this. Wacha has been very good this year and makes it a tight race, but I think I will give a slight edge to Mikolas. He has yet to walk more than 2 batters in a game and has allowed no walks in 6 of his 13 starts. He also has good stuff despite not getting many strikeouts and he can throw basically any pitch in his arsenal for strikes. His average exit velocity of 86.8 is also lower than the league average of 88.8. When batters do make contact, it’s not usually hit well. I’d put the ball in his hands if it came down to it.
Well there you have it everyone. That’s my World Series game 7 lineup. There are lots of changes that could be made. If there isn’t a DH, where does Martínez fit? Certain matchups against opposing pitchers could factor into it. What are your thoughts. Comment on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @AaronArchCity or @SuspectsMusial.
Thanks for reading.