Cardinals go into the postseason with three of the NL’s top 10 WAR leaders

ST. LOUIS-Paul Goldschmidt. Nolan Arenado. Tommy Edman. Three of the National League’s best players in terms of WAR will be patrolling infield for the St. Louis Cardinals during this weekend’s Wild Card Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is a metric designed to measure a player’s worth in all facets of the game by determining how many wins they would be worth more than a replacement-level player in the same position. Arenado (7.9), Goldschmidt (7.8), and Edman (6.3) all finished in the top 10 for NL players and the top 15 in all of baseball.

Goldschmidt flirted with the National League Triple Crown for most of the season. While enjoying a .317 batting average, 35 homers and 115 RBI, he narrowly edged the NL lead in all three categories.

Goldschmidt, who was named NL Player of the Month in May and August, has been cooling off since September with a .245 batting average, 2 homers and 10 RBI but feels and the Cardinals are well positioned for the postseason.

“We’ve been playing a three-game streak all year, so it’s probably going to be a little bit more like the regular season,” Goldschmidt said in interviews after a postseason practice Thursday. “Try to go pitch by pitch, game by game, you can’t look forward. The focus is on being ready for tomorrow.”

Arenado finished with consecutive seasons with 30 homers and 100 RBIs, using all the way to the final day to set the Cardinals’ single-season record. By shooting a doubles game at hot corner in Wednesday’s series finale, he broke a team record of 42 doubles shots shot at hot corner.

“We’ve had a lot of different contributors throughout the year,” said Cardinals manager Oli Marmol. “What our corner guys have done, Nolan and Goldy, it’s incredible. Your ability to conquer the field every day with no days off. They ring the bell every day. Without them we are not here.”

Edman has prided himself on his versatility throughout the 2022 season, playing in five different positions at times this season while averaging a .265 batting average, 13 homers, 95 runs scored and 32 stolen bases.

“We have some good defenders around me,” Edman told Bally Sports Midwest earlier this season in the team’s defence. We all make each other better. When you see someone making a good game, you want to make a good game.”

The St. Louis Cardinals begin Friday after the season with a best-of-three wildcard series against quads and the Philadelphia Phillies. The winner will face off against defending World Series champions Atlanta Braves in next week’s National League Division Series. Cardinals go into the postseason with three of the NL’s top 10 WAR leaders

Sarah Y. Kim

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