ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 15: Starter Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium on August 15, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Cardinals fell two games behind Pittsburgh for the final Wild Card spot on Sunday.
A rough weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates has given way to a critical week in the World Series title defense for the St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis will play the final three games of a nine game home stand against the worst team in Major League Baseball: The Houston Astros.
Houston enters this week with a 39-83 record overall and as the only team in baseball guaranteed of a losing season so far. The Astros are also a dismal 12-48 on the road away from Minute Maid Park in Houston. That affords St. Louis an excellent chance to gain ground in the standings.
Probable Starting Pitchers: