The St. Louis Cardinals kicked off the month of August with an impressive 8-2 stretch, and finally jumped the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central standings. Milwaukee trails by just 0.5 games, proving just how tight this postseason race will shape up down the stretch.
Based on the current MLB standings, falling out of the division lead would lead to the Cardinals' first missed postseason since 2018. Fortunately, there's a lot of time left in the closing months of baseball's regular season. Of course, the Cardinals must continue winning games.
According to Tankathon, the Cardinals hold the second-easiest strength of schedule across baseball in their remaining 51 games.
With a division title in their sights, let's check out the three hardest series remaining on St. Louis' regular season schedule.
3. @ Chicago Cubs (Aug. 22-25)
You're probably thinking, how did the 46-65 Chicago Cubs make this list? This is what we call a trap series. St. Louis visits Wrigley Field for a brutal stretch of five games in four days. Two of these games start at 1 p.m., including a doubleheader on the Tuesday of this week. For starters, the Cubs have nothing to lose at this point. They're in a fierce three-time race for third place in the NL Central and have a great opportunity to act as spoilers down the stretch. Plus, this series comes just before a three-game set at home against the Atlanta Braves. St. Louis' players will have those game circled, and maybe not this series against the Cubs. Considering the Cardinals have 32 games left against NL Central opponents, and the Brewers have 23, it's important to rack up wins against the lesser divisional rivals. If you don't overlook those games, of course.
2. @ San Diego Padres (Sept. 20-22)
Turning the page to September, the Cardinals go on the road for nine days, including a tough West Coast swing against the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. San Diego is fighting for their own playoff lives, up just 1.0 game in the final NL Wild Card spot. Who knows? St. Louis could be in the Brewers' position at that point, and these teams will battle for that final postseason spot. The Padres added star power during the deadline with the likes of Juan Soto, and their lineup is a force to be reckoned with. St. Louis swept the Padres in their only previous series, but that came at home and all the way back in May. This is a different opponent and a different location and just two weeks before the regular season ends, could have massive implications on the postseason picture.
1. @ Milwaukee Brewers (Sept. 27-28)
This list wouldn't be complete without reserving a spot for the Milwaukee Brewers. St. Louis holds a slim 0.5-game lead over Milwaukee, and that could change in an instant. Adding more pressure to any remaining games with the Brew Crew is the fact that second-place in the NL Central currently leaves you outside of the playoff picture looking in. St. Louis plays the Brewers seven more times before the playoffs, but none bigger than this final series. It's on the road, it's for two short games, and it's at the end of that long road trip against the West Coast powerhouse teams. St. Louis will only have six remaining games (all against the Pirates) following this final clash in Milwaukee, and the division winner could be decided by the time the Cardinals' plane heads home on Sept. 28.
Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.