Put up or Shut up. Previewing the Nationals/Cardinals Series

The Cardinals had a chance to bury their division rivals, the Christian Yelich-less Milwaukee Brewers. They found themselves in a position to establish themselves as the true frontrunner for the National League Central race. The Cardinals hopes for dominance were crushed by Ryan Braun’s ninth inning grand slam off of rookie Junior Fernandez.

St. Louis was bit by the hand that had been feeding them all of 2019.  Their young bullpen arms were not able to handle the late inning situations as they had previously the entire season. The Cardinals still sit two games up on the second place Chicago Cubs and three games up on the aforementioned Milwaukee Brewers. The redbirds have a very interesting clash in front of them against the uber talented and desperate Washington Nationals.  

Oh, they also get to face the murderer’s row of starting pitching Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer.

St. Louis will counter Dakota Hudson, Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright.  Comparing the overall starting pitching is an obvious advantage to the Nationals. Washington comes into this series with a 6-8 record in September including getting smashed by the Atlanta Braves which has all but ended their chances at the eastern division crown. Both teams are in a must win situation the rest of the season.  The Cubs and Brewers are both hot on their heels ready to take over their positions at the top.  

The Cardinals will have the advantage in the bullpen which in a playoff like atmosphere Mike Schildt will have to be ready to make the move before it is too late.  The Nationals have a powerful offense that can turn a one run lead into a four-run lead before you know it.  Schildt will have his first real playoff like atmosphere at Busch, Cardinals fans will find out if he is the one that will take them to the next step. 

The Nationals have the superior depth in their lineup with bench players like Howie Kendrick, Gerardo Parra and Matt Adams.  They can put out multiple lineups that will be tough to matchup against over a three games series.  The key for St. Louis will be to get ahead early and force the Nationals to utilize their subpar bullpen.  If the Cardinals can get a lead it will also allow Dakota Hudson, Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright to attack the zone.  They are pitch to contact pitchers, it can be an advantage for them to have the freedom to throw in the zone and not worry about one long ball putting them behind. 

Who has the advantage?

Starters- Advantage Nationals

Bullpen- Advantage Cardinals

Offense- Advantage Nationals

My series prediction.

In game one St. Louis will need to a strong performance in game one from Dakota Hudson, if he can give them a solid six innings and keep the ball in the ballpark it can set them up for the rest of the series.  Strasburg is a vaunting task for any offense but is hittable when off, it is going to be hot for game one so the ball should be taking off and the usual pitcher friendly Busch Stadium.  Cardinals take game one 4-3. 

Game two is a much more even matchup with Mile Mikolas taking on Patrick Corbin. Corbin’s one start versus St. Louis he was erratic in the strike zone, walking four over his six innings. Corbin has the stuff to shut down the Cardinals but with St. Louis’s heavy right-handed lineup they should have the advantage.  Mikolas on the other hand found himself at home against the Nationals, giving up seven hits over six innings but only one run.  This game will come down to who is the first to fold.  Cardinals take game two by getting to Corbin early, Cardinals win 7-3.

Game three is simple. Scherzer in St. Louis will dominate. Cardinals will scratch across a run early, but it won’t be enough.  Soto and Rendon will punish Wainwright in the first and the third.  Nationals win the game but lose the series.  Nationals 8-2.

MLB DFS Breakdown August 13 2019- Brewers crush reeling Perez

Pitcher Spotlight- Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals

Jack Flaherty is priced at just $9,000 versus the Kansas City Royals, making him the seventh highest price pitcher on the slate.  At such a low-price Flaherty is a bargain for all DFS players. Jack has been on another level since the All-Star break.  Flaherty has totaled over 18 fantasy points in seven straight starts, including his two most recent starts where he scored 35 and 36 versus the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.  

One of Flaherty’s biggest problems has been giving up power which the Royals as a team don’t bring a lot of those concerns.  As a team they only have an ISO of .160.  If Flaherty can avoid the power of Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier he should be ripe for another high scoring outing. 

Potential Stacks- Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels

The focus for my stack will be on the Milwaukee Brewers.  Martin Perez has become the Martin Perez of the last few seasons over the last three months his ERA has ballooned to a 6.67ERA during the second half of the season. Perez has given up a ton of power to righties the entire season, a .459 slugging percentage has led to a lot of short outings.  Perez combined with the struggles of the Minnesota bullpen should put the Brewers in nice spot for a four-man stack. I am going to build my lineup around Keston Huira, Ryan Braun and Mike Moustakas can all be affordable along with some plays from the Dodgers against the regression of Jordan Yamamoto.

Sneaky Stack- Philadelphia Phillies

Attacking the struggling Jose Quintana is a great option for underpriced power.  Rhys Hoskins is underpriced at just $4.1K, if you pair him along with Jean Segura and Scott Kingery at the top of the lineup you can stack some top-level pitching with the stack. 

Lineup Build-

P: Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Caridinals, $9,000

P: Joe Ross, Washington Nationals, $5,500

C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,000

1B: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,700

2B: Keston Huira, Milwaukee Brewers, $5,000

3B: Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,400

SS: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,000

OF: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers, $5,400

OF: Lane Thomas, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,300

OF: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,700

MLB DFS August 5 2019

Pitcher Spotlight- Charlie Morton at home is the way to go.

The top two pitchers for the slate are Lucas Giolito and Charlie Morton.  Giolito has the better matchup against the high strikeout rated Detroit Tigers.  Morton gets the nod for me facing the free-swinging Toronto Blue Jays at the Trop.  Morton has been great all season, he has excelled at home.  Over Morton’s last ten starts he has struck out at least ten in 8 of those games. The Blue Jays have legit power in their lineup, but they don’t walk much so the power can be limited as well as it can be negated by the potential K’s.  

Stack I’m looking at: Cleveland Indians

This is a gamble against Mike Minor.  The Indians have been one of the hottest teams in the league and Minor has been on a second half decline.  Minor has given up four runs or more in each of his last four starts.  The Indians will also be a low owned stacked with guys like Mike Montgomery, Merrill Kelly and Rick Porcello on the mound.  I am going to target the middle of the order with Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and of course the lefty masher Jordan Luplow. You can fit them in at an affordable cost.

Stackable Teams: Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays

JD Martinez is a must start against Mike Montgomery whom has been a gas can all season. JD’s stats versus lefties are elite on all levels.  If you can fit him in with Morton and some nice smaller stacks around him, you are looking at a cashable lineup.

Sneaky Stack: Milwaukee Brewers

Moustakas is too cheap on this slate. The Brewers have a nice potential night versus a high contact pitcher in the Pirates Agrazal.  He gives up a nice hard contact and ISO versus left-handed power bats.

P: Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays, $10,700

P: Eric Fedde, Washington Nationals, $5,600

C: James McCann, Chicago White Sox, $3,400

1B: Ryan O’Hearn, Kansas City Royals, $3,000

2B: Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,200

3B: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians, $4,800

SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, $5,400

OF: Jordan Luplow, Cleveland Indians, $4,400

OF: JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox, $5,100

OF: Sam Travis, Boston Red Sox, $3,400

MLB Draftkings Breakdown August 2

Pitching:  Give me Lance and I will figure out the rest.

This is not a slate where we are going to have tough decisions on which stud to play.  Lance Lynn is the highest priced pitcher due primarily to his recent dominance and the pure trash that is the Detroit lineup against righties.  Lynn is averaging 12K/9 during the 2019 season and the Detroit lineup is full of right-handed hitters.  The only lefties that are in the lineup for Detroit are guys like Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum, both don’t strike fear into an opposing pitcher.  The lone downside to Lynn would be playing in Texas were the ball will most likely be flying out at a pretty good rate.  With the Tigers high strikeout percentage, the potential of homeruns is negated by the fact that it’s likely Lynn will reach double digits. 

Sneaky Stack Option: Chicago White Sox

The obvious stacks today are the Astros against Kickuchi and ofcourse both the Giants and the Rockies in Coors.  The sneaky stack of the night is the Chicago White Sox versus the bipolar Jason Vargas. Vargas has had his moments of glory in both real life baseball and the fantasy side of baseball.  He will make his first start for the Phillies and from the outside it looks like a great matchup with the struggling Chicago White Sox. 

Vargas could be chalky in the matchup but I think that Chicago is a sneaky way to fit in the best pitchers and the highest upside one offs.  Chicago has good power with Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez and the always fun to watch and start Tim Anderson.  Vargas has a slight downgrade in ballpark when compared to New York, that along with a negative hard-hit percentage.  This is a gamble but isn’t all DFS a gamble?

One-offs to target: AJ Pollock, Robinson Cano, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Judge.

Robinson Cano- Price play with high upside against the struggling Trevor Williams.  They continue to bat Cano 4th

AJ Pollock- .450 wOBA and a .604 slugging percentage versus lefties.  

Aaron Judge- Judge is at his lowest price of the season, just $3,900 versus a lefty. Judge is struggling but a matchup with the Boston Red Sox which should light the fire for all the Yankees.

Josh Donaldson- The reverse splits for Donaldson are surprising.  His inability to hit lefties is surprising as his career versus lefties is actually very strong.  At just 4.3K his is worth the price.  

August 2 Draftkings Lineup

P: Lance Lynn, Texas Rangers, $11,700

P: Kevin Gausman, Atlanta Braves, $8,300

C: James McCann, Chicago White Sox, $3,500

1B: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox, $3,700

2B: Robinson Cano, New York Mets, $3,200

3B: Josh Donaldson, Atlanta Braves, $4,300

SS: Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox, $3,900

OF: Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox, $3,500

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $3,900

OF: AJ Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,500

The Nationals- The Underrated Winner of the Trade Deadline

The Nationals lost Bryce Harper in the offseason, rather than try and find a real replacement for the star power they filled in other needs and made them stronger.  Adding Patrick Corbin, strengthening their already stout rotation, also adding Brian Dozier to fill a need on the infield that has been a problem for a long time.  

They started the season in a funk, dealing with injuries and inconsistent play. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Trea Turner all spent time on the DL.  On May 24ththe Nationals were 12 games under .500. Manager Dave Martinez was sitting on the hottest of seats, it looked as if the Nationals would have to consider selling and selling anything and everything.  

Washington has begun to turn it around but had one fatal flaw. They currently have the worst bullpen in all of baseball with an ERA of 5.97 and a BAA of .274.  With the bats getting healthy the one thing holding them back was bonafide gas can of a bullpen.  They addressed those issues during the final day of the trade deadline. They added pieces that under the radar of most will be huge pickups down the stretch run of the season. 

Roenis Elias

You can look at Roenis Elias’s numbers and not be blown away.  4.14 ERA going along with .419 wOBA given up to lefties are not numbers you would look for in a late inning reliever, but Elias brings more to the table then just a specialist.  His ability to shut down right-handed bats is intriguing.  The converted starter has held righties to just a .341 slugging percentage and a .243 wOBA.  He has found a way to get out the reverse side of the plate.  Elias also added a surprising 14 saves in 16 opportunities on a team that literally seemed to have given up.  He has proven himself to be a stable force in the backend of the bullpen.

Daniel Hudson

The Toronto Blue Jays unloaded a lot of pitching over the trade deadline and Daniel Hudson could be the quiet prize of them all.  Hudson is a strikeout machine against righties averaging 11.71 K/9 this season. Hudson has been a journeyman throughout his career, currently in the midst of a career year, he will most likely be given the chance to take over the 8thinning duties in front of closer Sean Doolittle. 

Elias, Hudson and fireballer Hunter Strickland were not flashy moves by the Nationals.  Their lack of farm system depth was not going to allow them to make a move for the likes of All-Star Shane Greene, but these are underrated moves that will fill a need that was holding back the Nationals.  The aforementioned Greene was picked up by their division counterparts the Atlanta Braves, who seem to have a lock on the NL East barring in major injuries.  Still I believe that this Nationals team will end up having one of the most successful trade deadlines that no one is talking about.  Suring up the bullpen was the one thing that they HAD to do to continue their monumental recovery from a disastrous start to the season.  

MLB DFS Lineup July 19 (Draftkings)

P: Jacob DeGrom, New York Mets, $10,600

The Giants have been hot up until their matchup against Thor last night.  The Giants team total is set at a pedestrian three runs tonight in San Francisco, a very pitcher friendly park.  DeGrom is not the highest priced pitcher on the slate, which means you will save some money.  San Francisco is still striking out at over 26% as a team even with their recent hot streak.  

P: Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds, $6,000

The Cardinals are hot, but they still feature a watered-down lineup with a lot of strikeouts.  Tyler Mahle is way better against righties than lefties and the Cardinals will feature only a few lefties that are not overly scary DFS players Dexter Fowler, Matt Wieters and Tommy Edman.  

C: Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees, $4,600

Kyle Freeland has given up five earned runs or more in six straight starts.  Sanchez’s price has come down due to recent struggles but a matchup with the homer happy Kyle Freeland is a great play.

1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds, $3,400

Adam Wainwright has troubles versus lefties.  With multiple options in the Cincinnati lineup. I have chosen Joey Votto who over 49 at-bats versus Wainwright has hit him to a tune of a .995OPS.  Votto has been a disappointment all season but at this cost against a pitcher getting killed by lefties he makes almost too much sense.

2B: Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays, $3,900

Stacking against Kyle Freeland and Jordan Zimmerman are a theme for today’s lineup.  Biggio has been put in the middle of the order for the Blue Jays since his call up.  All six of Biggio’s homers have come against righties. I am looking for him to go yard tonight. 

3B: Vlad Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays, $3,700

Power. Power. Power. Vlad brings ridiculous power to the table against Zimmerman.  End of story.

SS: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,900

Seager has not returned to his rookie year form after a litany of injuries has slowed him down. His struggles have forced a lower cost at a prime position on a big slate.  Seager will face rookie Zac Gallen who

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $5,300

Judge may be the chalkiest of chalk plays in a Yankee stack.  Freeland has a real issue with giving up bombs and Judge will happily oblige him. Look for a double dinger day.

OF: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Toronto Blue Jays, $4,900

Lourdes is the light to our firecracker Blue Jays stack.  Gurriel hits in bunches and an already juicy matchup with Jordan Zimmerman should be a great showcase of one of the hotter hitters in baseball over the last few weeks. He is the highest price Blue Jay for good reason, and he will show it tonight.

OF: Matt Beaty, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,600

Beaty is coming off one of his best games of the year posting 26 fantasy points against the Phillies including a homer and three runs scored.  Beaty has a low price tag and high upside against Zac Gallen.  Check the starting lineup before you finish your lineup.  If he is in it, he is a must start at just $3.6K.

Stackable Teams:

Blue Jays

Yankees

Brewers

Sneaky Stack:

Pirates

Angels

Three Bats the Cardinals should Target

Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles stink.  That’s a simple fact.  They are going nowhere and need to be in full rebuild mood.  One of their few assets is 1B/OF Trey Mancini should be available and can make an immediate impact in the middle of the Cardinals lineup.  Mancini has an impressive stat line of .281/.340/.500, most notably is the slugging percentage.  The Cardinals have ranked in the bottom of the league in Slug and Isolated power all season.  

Adding power is a need for the Cardinals and Mancini fills in that need.  The Orioles will take pretty much any prospects you can offer, they need everything so you can offer anything.

Eric Sogard, Toronto Blue Jays

Eric Sogard is not a flashy name by any means, but he is a solid major league player that has been hitting all season.  Sogard was an afterthought in the offseason when the Blue Jays signed him but slow starts and injuries from their starters forced the veteran into service and he has rewarded them with a .371OBP and a 2.1 WAR from a guy that no one wanted.  

Sogard has shown some surprising power in 2019 hitting 10 homers in 2019 which is one shy of his career total. Sogard,33, is not a new kid on the block but he is currently in the middle of a career season and can fill in a slot at the beginning of the order. The leadoff spot has been a problem all season for St. Louis, adding Sogard would give them a player that has an .883 OPS when batting first.  Sogard’s price tag will be moderate as he is 33-year-old journeymen.  Worth a prospect just outside of your top 20. 

Eduardo Escobar, Arizona Diamondbacks

I am a fan of Eduardo Escobar; I was hoping St. Louis would take a run at the switching hitting utility man. Escobar has quietly put up great numbers for the Diamondbacks launching 19 homers and has a .879OPS.  Escobar will fill in nicely for the injured Matt Carpenter providing the power that Carpenter has not shown during 2019 and his ability to play multiple positions will allow Mike Schildt to utilize his other assets. 

Escobar also has a serviceable contract at 3year-$21million. The Diamondbacks have seen what the young Cardinals can do with two impact players Carson Kelly and Luke Weaver already on the roster, so you know they have spent time scouting the Cardinals system. Escobar is an impact bat without the impact notoriety.

MLB DFS Lineup June 25

P: Nester Cortes Jr, New York Yankees ($4,000)

Cortes Jr. is a wild card on this slate.  The Yankees bullpen was forced to over work themselves thanks to the late inning comeback by the Toronto Blue Jays.  Cortes Jr. will be looked to eat up innings against a team that is in the bottom five of strikeout percentage by a team. 

P: Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants ($8,200)

Bumgarner is a bargain at 8.2k.  A matchup with the Rockies seems like trouble but the Rockies lineup is missing two right-handed bats.  Ian Desmond and Trevor Story will both most likely miss this game.  The Rockies also have a 24% strikeout rate during the 2019 season.  Playing in San Francisco is also a huge ballpark downgrade for the Rockies offense.

C: Pedro Severino, Baltimore Orioles ($3,700)

Severino is one of my favorite plays against lefties.  Batting cleanup against lefties Severino has shown great power this season with a .609 slugging percentage and .281 ISO.   

1B: Dan Vogelbach, Seattle Mariners ($4,900)

Vogelbach brings a lot of power against a pitcher that gives up a lot power especially to lefties.  Brewers starter Zach Davies gives up a .497 slugging percentage to left handers as well as been struggling all June.  Vogelbach will most likely go low owned tonight due to the potential Yankees stack. 

2B: DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees

I am jumping on the Yankees stack train tonight and DJ LaMahieu is where I am getting started.  DJ has been hitting everyone all season and with the lineup so stacked up you can all but guarantee that LeMahieu will at least give you runs scored.

3B: Manny Machado, San Diego Padres ($5,500)

Machado returning to Baltimore will not be the same as the recent reunion we saw with Albert Pujols returning to St. Louis, but it should still have an emotional effect for Machado. It doesn’t hurt that Machado is red hot coming into this matchup.  Ten straight games Machado has reached double digits in fantasy points, he will continue that tonight.

SS: Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees ($5,300)

Torres is a continuation of my mini-Yankees stack.  Torres brings power and speed to your lineup.  He does have surprisingly rough numbers versus lefties but that doesn’t worry me heading into a matchup with Clayton Richard.

OF: Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees ($4,600)

Stanton hit a dinger last night.  He is facing a lefty tonight.  He will have huge ownership, if you want to be different then don’t play Stanton.  I don’t want to be different here.

OF: Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies ($4,500)

Still being priced down thanks to his slow start, Bryce Harper brings a lot of value to your lineup at just 4.5K.  The Phillies finally came to their sense and moved Harper out of the lead-of spot back into a productive role in the middle of the order. 

OF: Dominic Smith, New York Mets ($4,000)

Long time top prospect Dominic Smith is finally getting some at bats while playing the outfield for the Mets.  Smith bring a lot of power to the plate.  Check to make sure he is in the lineup, if he is, he is a bargain.

Draftkings Lineup June 8 (Early Slate

Going to keep this one pretty quick as the targets seem pretty obvious on the offensive end.  favorable matchups that can be exploited today.  Good Luck.

P: Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins, $9,700

Targeting a starter versus the Detroit Tigers is an obvious choice.  The Tigers have a number of career at bats against the Twins hurler but a combined .200 average as well as an OPS barely above .600 makes him an easy target for your number 1 pitcher option.

P: Framber Valdez, Houston Astros, $7,400

Framber Valdez will make his first start of 2019, building off of a great four innings of relief against the Seattle Mariners.  There is some risk to starting a lefty versus the right handed power of Baltimore but Valdez has strikeout upside and high probability to get four points for the W.

C: Grayson Greiner, Detroit Tigers, $2,300

1B: CJ Cron, Minnesota Twins, $4,400

Cron crushes lefties.  Gregory Soto has not been impressive to start the season for Detroit.  Looking at a mini stack of the Twins, starting with Gibson pitching and power right -handed bats.

2B: Jonathon Schoop, Minnesota Twins, $4,200

Twins stack continues with a potential power bat in Schoop.  Schoop can provide a little speed as well.

3B: Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics, $5,100

A’s Stack

SS: Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics, $4,200

A’s stack

OF: Stephen Piscotty, Oakland Athletics, $4,300

A’s Stack

OF: Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins, $4,200

Nelson Cruz will homer today if he gets four at-bats

OF: Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics, $4,200

A’s Stack

Stackable teams:

Houston Astros, Oakland A’s, Minnesota Twins

Anyone Notice Dakota Hudson?

The Cardinals had very few bright spots over the month of May.  One that has gone under the radar was the development of Dakota Hudson.  Hudson quietly established himself as the benchmark of consistency while covering for the struggles of other higher touted staff members.  It’s time to notice that Hudson is stepping up in a time when the team needs him the most.

Entering May the Cardinals were on a roll but Hudson was seen as a likely candidate to be put on the bus back to Memphis. There wasn’t much of an argument to keep Hudson in the rotation over the first month and a half of the season.  In the months of March/April Hudson gave up a slash line of .327/.400/.594.  Hudson had become a punching bag for opposing offenses because he was not pitching to his strengths.  Hudson was averaging 7.13 K/9 rate going along with a 55.4% ground ball rate.  For him to be effective Dakota has to utilize what works for him by limiting hard contact and raising his ground ball percentages. 

Hudson has rediscovered what makes him effective in May.  Utilizing his sinker has seen his groundball rate raise by 10% in the month while limiting what was essentially his doom.  Hudson has given up just one homer in his last seven starts, his ability to keep the ball down limiting the hard contact rate has made him a huge asset to the pitching staff.  The reduction in his FIP is the most noticeable statistic showing a decrease from the astronomical 7.52 in March/April to 3.49 in May.  Six of seven starts Hudson has went at least six innings giving up over two runs just one time, while giving up just no more than five hits over his last four starts. Finding his strength has meant a reduction in strikeouts per nine to 5.86, but that reduction has allowed him thrive on his strengths.

Lefties are still a problem for the young Cardinals hurler, giving up an wOBA of .420 during the 2019 season. Building off of his most recent start where he was able to hold down a left-handed heavy Reds middle of the order featuring Joey Votto, Derek Dietrich and Jesse Winker. This could be a sign of things to come as he has had a bit of bad luck against lefties with a BABIP of .367.  His overall hard hit percentage has decreased by 3% in the month of May,  with continued regression in this statistic Hudson can find himself improving his numbers against left handed hitters. 

St. Louis is much maligned for not making moves to try and bolster their rotation and/or bullpen.  Passing on Closer Craig Kimbrel and Starter Dallas Keuchel has St. Louis fans wondering whether John Mozeliak is really committed to winning in 2019.  While Mo has made questionable decisions, his steadfast commitment to stick with developed players has not always been a terrible decision.  When others were giving up on Hudson the Cardinals stuck with him and it is paying off with quality start after quality start.