The Cardinals claimed a series win over Washington, which is nearing an NL East division title. The NL Central-champion Reds come to town next for a three-game series. St. Louis can clinch a postseason berth as early as Monday, if the Cards beat Cincinnati and the Dodgers lose to the Giants.
The Dodgers are the only other team the Cardinals have left to fend off for the final NL playoff spot. Milwaukee was officially eliminated when it lost Sunday afternoon.
Monday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Braves (Maholm, 13-10) at Pirates (Locke, 0-3), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Phillies (Kendrick, 10-12) at Nationals (Lannan, 4-0), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Reds (Arroyo, 12-9) at Cardinals (Garcia, 6-7), 8:15 p.m. Preview >
Giants (Cain, 16-5) at Dodgers (Harang, 10-10), 10:10 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