St. Louis Cardinals Beat Astros, Expand Wild Card Lead to 4.5 Games

Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

On Tuesday night, the Cardinals shut-out the Astros behind a strong start from Jaime Garcia, which extended their lead in the race for the second National League Wild Card berth to 4.5 games, due to losses by the Brewers and Dodgers.

After the Dodgers' win on Sunday night in Cincinnati, the Cardinals held a 2 1/2 game lead over both the Brewers and Dodgers in the race for the league's second Wild Card spot, with a "magic" postseason number of eight. After the conclusion of play on Tuesday night, the Cardinals own a 4 1/2 game Wild Card lead and their "magic" postseason number is four. On Tuesday night, the Cardinals topped the Astros 4-1 in Houston while the Brewers lost 4-2 to the Reds and the Dodgers fell 2-1 in San Diego. Last night's events pushed the Cardinals' postseason probability to 97 percent, according to Baseball Prospectus.*

Here is a look at the National League Wild Card standings heading into play on Wednesday, September 26, 2012.

Club

Wins

Losses

Winning %

GB of 2nd

GB of 1st

Last 10

Streak

Braves

89

65

.578

--

--

8-2

W3

Cardinals

84

71

.542

--

5.5

8-2

W4

Dodgers

79

75

.513

4.5

10.0

5-5

L1

Brewers

79

75

.513

4.5

10.0

7-3

L2

D-Backs

78

76

.506

5.5

11.0

7-3

W1

Phillies

78

76

.506

5.5

11.0

6-4

W1

Pirates

76

78

.494

7.5

13.0

3-7

W1


I've included the Pirates on this list so one can see just how far they have fallen and because their elimination number is one. Pittsburgh could be eliminated from postseason contention on this very day. Both the Phillies and Diamondbacks won yesterday, keeping their very slim postseason hopes alive. The Phillies' postseason probability by BP is 0.0 percent; the Diamondbacks' is 0.3 percent.

Here are the teams elimination numbers:

  • Brewers: 4
  • Dodgers: 4
  • Diamondbacks: 3
  • Phillies: 3
  • Pirates: 1
*The original post listed the Cardinals postseason odds per Baseball Prospects as 91.1 percent after last night games. That was inaccurate because Baseball Prospectus had not yet updated its postseason odds. The updated odds after Tuesday's games put the Cards' postseason probability at 97 percent.
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