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Nationals vs. Cardinals: Crucial series for both teams begins Friday

With a three-game lead over the Dodgers and four games over the Brewers, the Cardinals will need to hold off both teams by earning some wins against the NL-best Nationals.

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Without enough games left to catch the Cincinnati Reds or the Atlanta Braves, the only thing the Cardinals can do with six games left is hold on to the National League's second wild card spot. To do so, they'll need to hold off the Dodgers and the Brewers who are three and four games behind them, respectively.

They get no easy task down the stretch though, as they begin a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Friday. In the midst of a battle for home-field advantage with the Reds, the Nationals need every win they can get and will look to steal some wins from the Cardinals in St. Louis.

It'll be up to Adam Wainwright on Friday to stop the potent Washington offense and shake his September struggles. In four starts during the month he has an 0-2 record and has allowed 13 runs in 24 innings.

Having a similarly poor month, though, is Nationals pitcher Edwin Jackson who will take the mound on Friday for Washington. In September, Jackson has allowed 14 runs in 23⅔ innings, including three home runs in his last two starts.

The first pitch at Friday's game at Busch Stadium is scheduled to be thrown at 7:15 p.m. CT and will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest and MASN2.