Of course they got bad news to start the season when starting pitcher Adam Wainwright had Tommy John surgery and would be out for the season. Then negotiations with potential free agent Albert Pujols broke down with free agency looming after the season. Not a good start but this is a good offensive team with a decent starting rotation.
I'm not surprised they have had success, but I am surprised they took out the Phillies. I felt the Phillies had much better pitching, both starters and relievers. I'm not as surprised that they are playing well against the Brewers, who they have quarreled with during the season. It also seems like they are developing a cohesive unity similar to the 2006 team that beat the Mets and then the Tigers in the World Series. By hitting pitchers like Zach Grienke and Shawn Marcum, the Cardinals have neutralized the advantage the Brewers had coming in to the series. While the Brewers have a stronger bullpen, offensively they are about even and the Cardinals have a big advantage defensively.
The Cardinals at the time of this post have a 3-2 lead heading back to Milwaukee. This was inversely similar to the 1982 World Series where the Brewers lead 3-2 going back to St. Louis. If the Cardinals can take one of the next two like the '82 Brewers could not, I see them being the favorites to win the World Series this year.