ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- After a much needed sweep of the Houston Astros, the St. Louis Cardinals will need to take that momentum on the road for arguably the hardest part of their schedule.
The next six games, three vs. Cincinnati Reds and three vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, could be considered ‘make-or-break’ games in the sense that they are all must wins. A .500 mark on this upcoming ten-game road trip will likely not be enough for the Cardinals to stay within the top two spots of the wild-card lead as the Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers are breathing heavy down their necks.
The three-game set against the Pirates which begins on Monday will be the final series with the Cardinals. The Cardinals have six games remaining against the Central-leading Reds, three games against the Dodgers and they do not play the wild-card leading Atlanta Braves for the rest of the season.
The next month or so will be difficult for the Cardinals as they have 23 road games compared to 15 home games left on the schedule. It may sound daunting for the Cardinals’ chances of making the playoffs considering the team has a 28-30 road record this season, but of those 23 games away from Busch Stadium the team plays a total of nine against the underachieving San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and the Astros starting on September 10. Those three teams have a combined 142-231 record this season.
It should also be noted that the Cardinals still have seven games (four games on the upcoming road trip) to play against the Washington Nationals, who currently have the best record in baseball.