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St. Louis Cardinals' Wild Card Odds Hinge On Collapsing More Slowly Than The Pittsburgh Pirates

This is perhaps not the way you'd want things to turn out. After one of the most brutal four game stretches in St. Louis Cardinals history, the 2012 squad finds itself more or less out of the NL Central race—and if that leaves you worried about the Cardinals' diminished strength over the last month of the regular season, their Wild Card odds depend on whether they'll collapse faster than the Pittsburgh Pirates, their neighborhood Wild Card competitors.

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Of course, that doesn't even take into account the degree to which the Los Angeles Dodgers, one game back, would have to collapse in this worst-of-most-worlds scenario. But let's be selectively pessimistic. If the Pirates are the ones making you nervous—well, just like your mom told you about spiders, they're probably as afraid of you as you are of them.

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The Cardinals have done a remarkable job of pulverizing their once-inscrutable run differential over the last few games, but even then it seems hard to justify putting the Pirates ahead of the Cardinals over the last month. And hey—over their last 10 games they've actually lost more games.

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