ST. LOUIS — You know it's getting serious when St. Louis starts talking about "magic numbers". That time is here again for the Cardinals, as the regular season is winding down and October baseball is right around the corner.
The most likely scenario for the Cardinals is an NL Central title, and then on to face the third wild card team, likely the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies or Milwaukee Brewers in the best-of-three Wild Card round of the playoffs.
This story will be updated daily as games are completed and the standings change.
The Cardinals clinched the NL Central title with a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.
For the first time since 2019, the Cardinals are the champions of the National League Central.
St. Louis clinched the NL Central with a 6-2 win Tuesday night in Milwaukee over the Brewers.
Technically, the magic number still sits at one game, however, with the Cardinals holding the tiebreaker over Milwaukee and no "game 163s" to be played this season, the Cardinals have claimed the central.
The Cardinals still have eight games left on their schedule before heading to postseason play. After the two-game series in Milwaukee, they'll head home for three games against the Pirates before finishing the year with three more games in Pittsburgh.
With the Cardinals firmly entrenched as the No. 3 seed in the National League, they're poised to host the best-of-three Wild Card Series against either the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres or Milwaukee Brewers.
That opening series is set to take place at Busch Stadium from Friday, Oct. 7 through Sunday, Oct. 9.
Despite the 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, the Cardinals magic number continued to drop.
The Milwaukee Brewers dropped their game on Sunday versus the Cincinnati Reds 2-1.
The Cardinals' magic number sits at three.
The St. Louis Cardinals will head to Milwaukee and take on the Brewers Tuesday, Sept. 27 and Wednesday, Sept. 28
On the same night that Albert Pujols became the fourth player to hit 700 career home runs, the Cardinals also moved one step closer to clinching the NL Central with a magic number of four.
The Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-0 Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
At the end of play on Sept. 22, the Cardinals have a magic number of 5 to clinch the NL Central.
The Cardinals took care of business against the Padres with a 5-4 win, and the Brewers beat the Reds 5-1, so the Cardinals only lowered their magic number by a game.
St. Louis still has a 7.5-game lead on Milwaukee in the NL Central.
At the end of play on Sept. 20, the Cardinals moved one step closer to the playoffs. Although the Cardinals were shut out again Tuesday, the Brewers lost to the Mets. The Cardinals' magic number decreased to 6.
At the end of play on Sept. 20, Fangraphs gave the Cardinals a 99.8% chance to win the division, but just a 3.2% chance to win the World Series.
At the end of play on Sept. 19, the Cardinals have a magic number of just seven to clinch the NL Central.
The Cardinals were off on Monday, but the Brewers lost to the Mets 7-2, so the magic number still dropped. The Cardinals hold an eight-and-a-half game lead on the Brewers.
The Cardinals will open an eight-game road trip against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
At the end of play on Sept. 18, the Cardinals saw their magic number to clinch the NL Central down to eight.
Although the Cardinals dropped their series finale to the Reds 3-0, the Brewers lost to the Yankees 12-8.
The NL Central lead also sits at eight games for the Cardinals.
As it currently stands, the earliest the Cardinals could clinch the division would be on Friday in Los Angeles.
The Cardinals won both games against the Cincinnati Reds during a doubleheader at Busch Stadium Saturday. They won the first game 5-1 and the second in 11 innings, 1-0.
The magic number after Saturday's big day sits at nine.
Entering play on Sept. 17, Fangraphs gave the Cardinals a 99.3% chance to win the division, but just a 3.3% chance to win the World Series.
Facing off against the fourth-place Cincinnati Reds, the Cardinals could not get the offense going. A late rally came up short in the ninth inning, as the Cardinals lost 3-2.
The Brewers hand an off-day on Thursday, so the magic number remained at 12.
Entering play on Sept. 16, Fangraphs gave the Cardinals a 99.2% chance to win the division, but just a 3.6% chance to win the World Series.
The Cardinals made some history on Wednesday night and managed to trim their magic number in the process.
Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina set an MLB record with their 325th start as a pitcher and catcher battery, breaking the record set by the Tigers' Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan.
The Cardinals also beat the Brewers 4-1, to bring the magic number to win the division to 12 games, and put the Cards back out to an eight-game lead over Milwaukee.
Entering play on Sept. 15, Fangraphs gave the Cardinals a 99.3% chance to win the division, but just a 4% chance to win the World Series.
The Cardinals are only four games behind the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves in the loss column for the second overall spot in the NL field, which would earn a first-round bye in the postseason.
The Cardinals and Brewers squared off Tuesday night for the first game of a two-game series. After a back-and-forth first few innings, the Brewers grabbed a lead and closed out the game for an 8-4 win. That means the Cardinals magic number remained at 14.
Entering play on Sept. 14, Fangraphs puts the Cardinals' odds of winning the NL Central at 98.0%, but with just a 3.6% chance to win the World Series.
At the start of play on Sept. 13, the Cardinals are still eight games up on the Brewers with a magic number of 14, meaning any combination of 14 Cardinals wins or Brewers losses gets them into the postseason as the NL Central champion.
Entering play on Sept. 13, Fangraphs puts the Cardinals' odds of winning the NL Central at 98.8%, but with just a 3.7% chance to win the World Series.
At the start of play on Sept. 12, the Cardinals are still in a comfortable position to win the NL Central, eight games ahead of the Brewers.
Their magic number sits at 14, meaning any combination of 14 Cardinals wins or Brewers losses gets them into the postseason as the NL Central champion.
Entering play on Sept. 12, Fangraphs puts the Cardinals' odds of winning the NL Central at 98.8%, but with just a 3.8% chance to win the World Series. Baseball Reference gives the Cardinals a 99.6% chance to win the division.