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What are the St. Louis Cardinals playoff odds?

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A look at the standings and postseason odds with 22 games left to play.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals opened a four-game series against the second-place Brewers in Milwaukee with a 3-2 victory. The loss was the Brew Crew's ninth in a row and dropped them to 73-67 and a full four games back of the Cards in the National League Central standings. With 22 games remaining for both teams, what does the NL postseason picture look like?

First, the division standings.

NL Central Standings

Place

Team

Wins

Losses

Pct.

Run Diff.

GB

1

Cardinals

77

63

.550

-2

-

2

Brewers

73

67

.521

+2

4.0

3

Pirates

71

68

.511

+8

5.5

4

Reds

66

74

.471

0

11.0

5

Cubs

64

76

.457

-43

13.0

The Brewers started out 20-7, and the conventional wisdom at the time was that they weren't that good of a team. Of course, they have proven not to be a .740 team. The question was how far the Brewers would fall from the unsustainable heights to which they soared in the season's opening month. Since the 20-7 high-water mark, Milwaukee's record is 53-60, which works out to a .469 winning percentage. In the mediocrity that is the 2014 NL, such a fade has not snuffed out the Brewers' postseason hopes. In fact, Milwaukee remains tied for the second wild card.

NL Standings

Place

Team

Wins

Losses

Pct.

Run Diff.

WC2 GB

1

Nationals (E)

79

59

.572

+108

-

2

Dodgers (W)

78

62

.557

+57

-

3

Cardinals (C)

77

63

.550

-2

-

4

Giants (WC1)

76

64

.543

+60

-

5

Braves (t-WC2)

73

67

.521

+18

-

6

Brewers (t-WC2)

73

67

.521

+2

-

7

Pirates

71

68

.511

+8

1.5

8

Marlins

67

71

.486

-27

5.0

9

Padres

66

73

.475

-29

6.5

10

Mets

66

74

.471

-13

7.0

11

Reds

66

74

.471

0

7.0

12

Phillies

64

75

.460

-56

8.5

13

Cubs

64

76

.457

-43

9.0

14

Diamondbacks

59

81

.421

-92

14.0

15

Rockies

56

84

.400

-84

17.0

The Cardinals are sitting pretty, 4.0 games ahead in the Central and the second Wild Card. This desire a still negative run differential of -2. With 22 games to play, the Cards ought to be able to cheat Pythagorean for the first time in manager Mike Matheny's tenure and make the postseason for the third straight time over that same time period and for a fourth consecutive October overall. So indicates the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds Report.

Baseball Prospectus calculates its playoff odds daily, simulating the season "based on thousands of Monte Carlo simulations of the remaining season schedule incorporating each team's year-to-date run differential, current roster composition, playing time projections and remaining schedule." Here are the odds through play on September 4, as shown on MLB.com.

Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds

Place

Team

Playoffs

Division

Wild Card

1

Nationals

99.9%

98.6%

1.3%

2

Dodgers

99.3%

75.6%

23.7%

3

Giants

90.9%

24.4%

66.6%

4

Cardinals

90.7%

81.3%

9.4%

5

Brewers

50.4%

16.0%

34.5%

6

Braves

46.0%

1.4%

44.5%

7

Pirates

21.5%

2.7%

18.8%

8

Marlins

0.7%

0.0%

0.7%

9

Reds

0.3%

0.0%

0.3%

10

Padres

0.2%

0.0%

0.2%

11

Mets

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

12

Phillies

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

13

Cubs

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

14

Diamondbacks

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

15

Rockies

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Last night's win in Milwaukee increased the Cards' playoff odds from 85% to 91%. Such is the power of head-to-head match-ups. The Brewers and Redbirds face off six more times this month, starting tonight at Miller Park. The Cardinals could take major steps toward sealing up a second consecutive division crown (which would allow them to avoid the wild-card game) with a series win this weekend.