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Cardinals Vs. Astros: Cardinals Begin Week With A Day Off

The Cardinals fell two games behind Pittsburgh for the final Wild Card spot on Sunday.

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)
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)
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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:

Tuesday: Adam Wainwright (11-10, 3.87) vs. Lucas Harrell (10-8, 3.81 ERA) 7:15pm CT

Wednesday: Kyle Lohse (12-2, 2.61) vs. Bud Norris (5-10, 5.23) 7:15pm CT

Thursday: Jake Westbrook (12-9, 3.50) vs. Dallas Keuchel (1-5, 4.99) 1:45pm CT

For more on the Cardinals, be sure to check out Viva El Birdos. To find out more about the Astros, be sure to visit The Crawfish Boxes. And, for all of your MLB needs, visit Baseball Nation.