One of the great privileges for any true baseball fan — particularly one worthy of the legendary rabid fanaticism of Cardinal Nation – is the daily anxiety of wondering what will happen next.

Anticipation is both a joy and a curse for the die-hard baseball lover. You guess and you fret, you hope and you pray. You worry that the sky is falling, while simultaneously issuing bold proclamations that prosperity is just around the corner.

Front-running teams like the St. Louis Cardinals ought to be the exception to this rule. Why lose a minute of sleep or pull your hair out every night when your favorite ballclub wins games with the smooth consistency of a metronome? As it turns out, the Cards — with the best record in baseball, 33-17 — aren’t about to deny their fans a daily dose of anxiety after all.

Even though the National League Central-leading Cards have won 19 of their last 25 games while racing through the first two months of the season on a dizzy 107-victory pace, they are managing to give your anxious guts plenty to churn over.

Not a day goes by when Cardinals fans aren’t cheering wildly one moment while nervously wondering whether a trap door is about to open and this entire dream season will be swallowed up whole.

Today’s joy and curse is the same as yesterday’s: the best pitching rotation in baseball.

The Cards’ starting pitching has been so good it’s scary. But it has also been so fragile that it’s been frightening.

On Monday night, general manager John Mozeliak, manager Mike Matheny and the rest of the coaching staff went to dinner to discuss what fascinating move (moves?) they will make to get through the next few days, weeks or (gulp) even longer.

Right now, the short-term worry is about who will take the ball on Thursday night.

Feel free to speculate because I bet you have just as many answers as the Cardinals do. Without knowing when (or if) Jake Westbrook will return from the disabled list, Matheny and Mozeliak have no fewer than a half dozen short- and long-term solutions that could either be viewed as stopgaps or a fascinating glimpse into the future.

“We’re not in that big of a hurry to make that move,” Matheny told reporters in Kansas City after the Cardinals’ 6-3 victory Monday over the Royals when he was asked who will be starting the Thursday night game back at Busch. “We’re still talking everything out. I think we have some good options. We just need to talk out all of the scenarios. There are a lot of variables that play into each of the decisions.”