The St. Louis Cardinals have had a relatively good week thus far taking two out of three from the Milwaukee Brewers and winning the first game of an important four game series against the Atlanta Braves last night. The Cardinals find themselves one game out of first place in the National Leagues Central and it looks like the Cardinals and Pirates will stay tightly bunched throughout the remainder of the season. The Cardinals have not fared well against the teams they will be facing in the playoffs and so this weekend’s series with the Braves and next week’s series against the Pirates are crucial ones for the Cardinals as they need to be able to show they can beat the teams that they will need to beat in the postseason. Obviously there is still a month left in the regular season but it is very likely that the teams who will make the playoffs from the National League are the Braves who have a huge lead in the NL East, The Dodgers who have a very comfortable lead in the NL West, the Pirates, Cardinals, and Reds all from the NL Central. The Braves and Dodgers certainly haven’t locked up their divisions yet but it will take a total collapse on their part for them to lose the leads they have. The order of teams from the NL Central is still yet to be determined but it will almost certainly be the Pirates, Cardinals, and Reds with one team winning the division and the other two being the wile card teams. The Reds have been the only team the Cardinals have played well against so they must start changing that to have any success in October.
The Kansas City Royals have not done themselves any favors lately as they have developed a trend of losing to teams they should be able to beat and playing well against the teams who are leading the various divisions in the American League. The Royals haven’t lost much ground in the AL Central but they certainly haven’t gained any either and barring a massive late season surge this will be a year of what ifs for the Royals. They are definitely an improved team for the one that has been fielded the last few years but they haven’t always played like it and their offense hasn’t been able to support the relatively good pitching they have gotten this year. They have the nucleus of a good team but still have some major questions to answer after the season is over.
The Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams both continue their preseasons schedule this weekend with the Chiefs traveling to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers and the Rams playing the Denver Broncos. I think both games are tomorrow night. This year will be the first year I can remember that the Chiefs and Rams have not faced each other in the preseason. I guess the Governor’s Cup has been retired for at least this year.
Speaking of football, the Kirksville High School tigers are now a week away from their first game as they will travel to Southern Boone next Friday night to open the 2013 football season. The Tigers first three games are on the road so it will be a while before their first home game.
The Truman State Bulldogs continue to prepare for their season opener on September 7 against Southwest Baptist. From what I have heard the Bulldogs offense appears to be much improved over last year which should lead to an exciting season.
The Little League World Series wraps up this weekend after two weeks of some of the best baseball you will ever see. The world and United States finals are both tomorrow with the two winners playing on Sunday.
NASCAR is in Bristol for races this weekend with the Nationwide series running tonight and Spring Cup running tomorrow night in what has traditionally been one of the more dramatic races of the year.
We’ll be back on Monday looking back at all this weekend’s sports action and looking ahead to what is on the docket for next week as we prepare for the first weekend of college football for many teams. Thanks as always for checking out this blog and I hope you will take the time to read all the excellent blogs on this site.
Have a wonderful weekend!