The Brewers and Dodgers appear to be the only two clubs still within striking distance of that final NL playoff spot. Both are 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No other club is closer than 5 1/2 games back.
That cushion, however, does not have the Cardinals complacent.
"Celebrate today. Look at tomorrow," manager Mike Matheny said. "We want to keep pushing forward without getting too far out in front."
Tuesday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Cardinals (Garcia, 5-7) at Astros (Harrell, 10-10), 8:05 p.m. Preview >
Nationals (Lannan, 3-0) at Phillies (Hamels, 15-6), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Marlins (Eovaldi, 4-12) at Braves (Medlen, 9-1), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Brewers (Fiers, 9-8) at Reds (Leake, 8-9), 7:10 p.m. Preview >
Pirates (Rodriguez, 11-13) at Mets (McHugh, 0-2), 7:10 p.m. Preview >
Dodgers (Beckett, 6-13) at Padres (Volquez, 10-11), 10:05 p.m. Preview >
D-backs (Collmenter, 4-3) at Giants (Lincecum, 10-14), 10:15 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.
A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.
If two clubs are tied for the two Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.
Tiebreaker rules »
2012 postseason schedule
Wild Card playoff games: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
AL Championship Series: Oct. 13-21
NL Championship Series: Oct. 14-22
World Series: Oct. 24-Nov. 1