The St. Louis Cardinals have had a very good start to the 2012 season with 16 wins and a 2.5 game lead in the NL Central heading into play Saturday. But the schedule in May is not quite as easy as the one the Cardinals cruised through in April.
The Cardinals finish up a stretch of 27 consecutive games against NL Central opponents Sunday. They will play only two games against a divisional opponent, the Chicago Cubs May 14-15, for the next 27 games on the schedule.
Although the Cardinals played an odd early season schedule with so many divisional games, it worked out in their favor because the division doesn’t appear to be that strong this year. The Cincinnati Reds were the only other NL Central team to have a winning record heading into play Saturday.
The Cardinals will start to face tougher competition soon, however, and it will come in a hurry. They will play 16 of those upcoming 27 games against teams with a record of .500 or better.
So, while the Cardinals’ starting pitching has...