Some of the drama in the National League is over – the St Louis Cardinals are NL Central champions for the first time since 2009. The division title is actually only the second for the Cardinals since they won three in a row from 2004-06, but the club was the NL's lone Wild Card in 2011, and one of two Wild Cards in 2012. The Cardinals clinched the division title by beating the Cubs 7-0 in St Louis.
The Cardinals were in a dogfight for the NL Central championship all season with the Pirates and Reds, but have been in at least a tie for the division's top spot since shutting out the Pirates 5-0 on September 7th. St Louis also is tied for the best record in the National League with the Braves at 95-65. Both teams will be hosting the opening games of the NLDS, but whichever team finishes with the better record gets to host the winner of the Pirates-Reds Wild Card game as opposed to facing off with the Dodgers, who are looking like a tough matchup in a short series.
However, the win didn't come without a cost for the Cardinals. Before the game, the team learned they'd be without Allen Craig for the NLDS thanks to a Lisfranc injury that has kept him out of action since the beginning of the month. Luckily for the Cardinals, Matt Adams has stepped up with Craig out and mashed at first base, homering eight times this month.
We're still not sure who is playing where in the National League Postseason yet with just two games remaining in the regular season. All we know is that the Dodgers will be starting on the road, and the Braves and Cardinals will be hosting. Whoever wins this weekend series in Cincinnati this weekend between the Reds and Pirates will host the Wild Card game, and the winner of the Wild Card game will visit whoever the NL's top seed is. There's still a lot to take care of, even with only a pair of games left.