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No days off | The Cardinals' September playoff push will be a wild sprint to the finish

With five doubleheaders and 23 games in 18 days, the Cardinals have a tough road ahead. But it's not all bad news when it comes to the rest of their schedule

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals are going to play some serious catch up to finish the 2020 season. Let's break it down.

As of the morning of September 10, the team has 23 games left on the schedule. They have 18 days to play those games and finish on Sept. 27, with no remaining off days.

That would get them to 58 games, two short of the 60 originally on the schedule. Of course, that's because of the team's COVID-19 outbreak last month. Playoff seeding will be determined by winning percentage in 2020, with the top two teams in each division making the cut along with two wild card teams in each league.

To fit all those games in, the Cardinals have five doubleheaders left on the schedule, beginning at home against the Tigers on Thursday. They'll play three more doubleheaders against the Brewers and one against the Pirates.

It's going to be quite the grind, and the already-taxed Cardinals pitching staff will need to come up with a herculean effort to crawl across the finish line.

But there is some good news.

All of the Cardinals' remaining 23 games are against teams that are currently under .500.

St. Louis will play the Reds and Royals three times, the Pirates five times, the Tigers twice and the Brewers an astounding 10 times. In fact, after Thursday's doubleheader against Detroit, nearly half of the Cardinals' remaining games are against the Brewers.

That means that match up could potentially end up deciding if those two teams get a playoff spot.

As of Wednesday night, the Cardinals have a two-game lead over the Brewers for the second spot in the Central. The Cardinals are three games behind the Cubs for first place.

On Wednesday, Baseball Reference gave the Cardinals a 91.6% chance to make the playoffs. That's a pretty ringing endorsement, with only four MLB teams having a higher chance at this point in the season according to BR.

We'll just have to see if this Cardinals team has anything left in the tank when they finally finish the regular season.