Who has the NL Experience Edge?

Posted by Ben Weixlmann | 2:19 PM | 0 comments »

BleacherReport.com's Joel Koch returns as a guest columnist on CardinalTwist.com!

Phew, what a win by the St. Louis Cardinals. They won 12-3 over the Chicago Cubs, in impressive fashion too.

I look at that game and wonder to myself how in the world the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers can stay in contention. I mean, they don’t have more postseason experience than the Cardinals.


The buzzer went off and I thought of the perfect article: comparing the teams’ postseason experience.

You will be somewhat surprised by my findings, I assure you. I was, after all.

So, here we go. I copied down the 25 man roster of each team, as of 8/9. Then, thanks to MLB.com, looked at each player’s postseason experience. I tallied down each season (2002, 1993, etc) and the total number of games the player has appeared in his postseason career.

St. Louis Cardinals: 38 seasons and 218 games
Chicago Cubs: 46 seasons and 220 games
Milwaukee Brewers: 23 seasons and 124 games

I have been saying all year long that I am not afraid of the Brewers. They have little to no experience when it comes down to the wire. In fact, out of their starting nine (with CC Sabathia being the pitcher), the Brewers have seven seasons and 34 games of experience…and that’s only three players.

Mike Cameron, Eric Gagne, Sabathia, Jason Kendall, Guillermo Mota, David Riske, Jeff Suppan, Russell Branyan, Craig Counsell (and his two World Series rings), Ray Durham, and Gabe Kapler are the only players with postseason experience.

Just some interesting facts there.

The Cubs total experience surprised me. I know Jim Edmonds and Alfonso Soriano have a lot of experience between them, but I thought for sure the Cubs would be lacking elsewhere.

Not the case.

Mark DeRosa, Derrek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez have 51 games of postseason experience between them. They don’t match up to the Cardinals three through five, as they have them beat hands down (67 for the Cardinals compared to 51).

It’s the Edmonds and Soriano thing that gets you. These two could lead a team of 23 rookies to a postseason berth. Edmonds has 61 games of postseason experience; while Soriano boasts 41 (102 if you’re keeping count).

The Cardinals top two? None other than stalwarts Albert Pujols (53) and Yadier Molina (29). The two have combined for 82 games, 20 games shy of the Cubs duo.

That could make a difference down the stretch. It’s all about experience. The Cubs have only four players on their active roster that have never appeared in a playoff game. The Cardinals? Their current number sits at ten.

Sorry for the short article. I hope I didn’t leave you hanging. Let me sum it all up for you readers: the Cubs might change their acronym to “Completely Useful By September.”

The Cardinals have a real shot at the Wild Card. They currently sit two games back of the Brewers with 43 games (45 for the Brewers) left in the season. They also command more experience, which really adds to the likelihood that the Cardinals will climb up the standings.

And the Brewers? Well, they may be missing their 26th straight postseason. Better luck next season.

As always, I have created a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with this information. If you’d like a copy, leave your email in your comment and I’ll me more than happy to email it to you.