The Cardinals and Royals have split their first two games, with the Cardinals winning last night by a single run. St. Louis has just two more wins that Kansas City this season. These facts might lead some to conclude that the Royals and Cardinals are nearly equals on the field, despite the fact that St. Louis is spending $39 million more in payroll. Don’t believe the hype. The Royals are about six pitchers and a terrific bench short of being the Cardinals. The Cardinals have split the first two games despite missing half of their starting lineup due to injury. McGwire, Lankford, Tatis, Vina, all out. A strong bench has allowed them to do that. Those missing players hit 1,4,5,6 in the lineup. How would you like to see the Royals play a few days without Damon, Dye, Beltran and Randa? They don’t have the depth to survive that. Pat Hentgen, who has been the Cardinals worst starter this year, would immediately become the ace of the staff if he joined the Royals. It’s only the first week of June. By the end of August, everyone will be able to see what a difference $39 million makes.
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