3 NL teams Dodgers need to be worried about at trade deadline

Thomas Carannante
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 06: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals jokes with Orlando Arcia #11 of the Atlanta Braves after a double in the fourth inning at Truist Park on July 6, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Brett Davis/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 06: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals jokes with Orlando Arcia #11 of the Atlanta Braves after a double in the fourth inning at Truist Park on July 6, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Brett Davis/Getty Images) /
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Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

2. St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals might as well be in the NL West given the “rivalry” with the Dodgers. Yup, the pain still runs deep from 2013 and 2014. Anyway, have you seen their head-to-head regular season matchups?! It’s 1,036-1,034 in favor of the Dodgers as of Wednesday. Absolutely insane.

You might not have realized it, but the Cards have been disappointing since their 2013 World Series loss to the Boston Red Sox. They missed the postseason three times entirely, couldn’t get past the Wild Card round twice, and got whomped in the NLCS twice since then.

The tides might be turning, though, with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado playing like MVP candidates. Add in the emergences of Brendan Donovan, Juan Yepez and Nolan Gorman, and St. Louis has something here (not to mention Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill, the latter two of whom are dealing with injuries).

St. Louis is armed with a decent amount of asset power with the 16th-ranked farm system, which they can afford to sacrifice, since a number of their younger guys are in the bigs. For the first time in a while, their bullpen seems to be solid, but more help there couldn’t hurt. A starter or two is almost mandatory to acquire if they want to make a run. They also can’t rule out an impact bat since … far too many regulars are hovering around or are below league-average production on offense.

They’re not fully healthy at the moment, and the Dodgers experienced how pesky they can be on Tuesday night. That trend worsening would be infuriating for LA in the playoffs, especially if they swipe some of Friedman’s desired targets.

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