Professional baseball in Missouri State is the world of opposites right now. The Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals couldn’t be in more different situations heading into the scorching summer days.
On one side, you have the St. Louis Cardinals battling for the top spot in the division with a roster littered with historic veterans and young stars. While the Kansas City Royals have a roster filled with underperforming names, young and old. It’s not just a one-year fluke for these two franchises, as recent history suggests, it’s quite the opposite. Both teams have enjoyed consistent fates in recent years. The Royals being a team fighting to finish with a winning record, while the Cardinals are fighting to win another division title.
St. Louis is trying to turn a farewell touring season into a real send-off for some of the franchise’s biggest names. This spring, the team brought back Albert Pujols and paired him with his former running mates, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright. All three are expected to retire over the next few seasons, if not at the end of the 2022 campaign. St. Louis also has other big names such as Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt who are well complimented by young talents such as Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neil and Andre Pallante.
Kansas City, on the other hand, are trying to reverse the club’s recent woes but have yet to see the success envisioned for this season. Sluggers Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield struggled to repeat last year’s success. Andrew Benintendi increased his batting average but struggled to replicate his running production from last year. Despite this, all hope is not lost for the future of the Royals. Highly touted Bobby Witt Jr. has shown signs of immense talent, confirming the hype he’s received since being drafted second overall in 2019. There are high hopes for him d to be the leader of the next era of Royals baseball.
Kansas City looks to end its West Coast trip strong as the Los Angeles Angels start on Monday, June 20e. Both teams have struggled this year and are looking to turn things around starting with this series.
St. Louis begins a high-stakes midseason series with co-division leaders Milwaukee Brewers also Monday night. This streak could potentially keep tightly-knit teams at the top of the division or push one up and give them some breathing room to work as the All-Star break approaches.
Baseball is a crazy sport and miracles happen every year in MLB, but unless something changes soon, we seem to be heading for another year where the Cardinals rule Missouri State.
Written by Nathan Massey