So, with one more game left to play in the regular season, what’s at stake for the Cardinals?  Let’s take a look at how the postseason might play out.

The Periphery: 

The Washington Nationals have already secured the best record in the National League. This means that they will have home-field advantage through the NLCS and play the winner of the wildcard game.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already secured the division title in the NL West and will therefore have home-field advantage and play the division champion of the NL Central.

The San Francisco Giants have secured a wild card spot and will not have home-field advantage in the wild card game.

Here’s Where it gets Interesting:

Two things have to go right for the Pirates today if they want to overtake the Cardinals as the NL Central division champion. One) The Cardinals have to lose against the Diamondbacks today. Two) The Pirates have to beat the Reds today. If this situation were to play out, both the Cardinals and the Pirates would share the same record of 89-73. This means that there would be a tiebreaker game to determine who the division champion would be.  Since the Cardinals have won their series against the Pirates with an 11-8 record, the Cardinals would have home-field advantage for that game. Obviously, the loser of that game would secure a wildcard spot.

If things do not play out like that today, the Cardinals be the division champions of the NL Central and will begin the NLDS against the Dodgers in LA. The Pirates would then play the Giants in the wildcard game.

Cardinals’ Outlook: A lot of things have to go right in order for the Pirates to sweep the division title from under the Cardinals. However, the only way that they can seal their fate as the NL Central champions is by winning today.