St. Louis Cardinals: The time has come…it’s showtime

ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 01: Nicholas Castellanos #6 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after breaking up a no hitter with a single off of Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on August 1, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 01: Nicholas Castellanos #6 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after breaking up a no hitter with a single off of Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on August 1, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals have been battling to this point all year. With 10 games left, it’s time to get the job done now or face the consequences.

This is the moment that fans, coaches, and players have been waiting for. The St. Louis Cardinals have seen this stretch of 10 games coming since the All-Star break and as expected, the next ten games are where the Cardinals will either shine or fall flat on their faces.

With 10 games left, the Cardinals are heading to Wrigley Field on Thursday night for the start of a four-game series in the ballpark where the team has yet to win a game. After the series in Chicago, the Cubs will come to St. Louis for three games after another three-game trip to Arizona.

After the Cardinals were able to square up with the teeth of the Washington Nationals’ three best starters and walk away with wins against Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, fans should be rejuvenated. The two prior series in which the team lost two of three against the Rockies and the Brewers had the Cardinals lead down to 2.0 games and everyone on the edge of their seats.

The Nationals were a big test and it’s fair to say the Cardinals passed.

After beating Scherzer on Wednesday and with some help from the Padres and the Reds, the Cardinals raised their division lead back to 3.0 games before coming into this final stretch. The difference between a 2.0 and 3.0 game lead is bigger than you may think with just 10 games left.

5-5 in this final stretch would not be good for the confidence level of the team heading into either an NLDS series against the Braves or a Wild Card game against the Nationals. But, assuming the team did go 5-5,  with just a 2.0 game lead, the Cubs would just have to go 7-3 in the last 10 to catch the Cardinals. With a 3.0 game lead, the Cubs have to go 8-2 just to tie.

That is just to tie and is only if the team goes 5-5. The exciting thing is that the Cardinals are going head to head with the Cubs and so both teams have their future in their hands.

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The potentially scary thing for both the Cardinals and Cubs is actually the schedule that the Brewers face these next 10 games. The Brewers are currently tied with the Cubs at 3.0 games back. While the Cubs play the Cardinals with a Pirates series in the middle, the Brewers finish their series with the Padres then play the Pirates, Reds, and Rockies.

After taking two of the three games against the Cubs, the Reds are still dangerous, but the Brewers schedule is certainly a bit easier than the Cubs or the Cardinals schedule. If the Cardinals and the Cubs both compete well, they could both very well go 5-5 in the last 10, in which case the Brewers would have to go 8-2 to catch the Cardinals. With that schedule, 8-2 is definitely possible.

There are many ways these last 10 can shake out, and there are plenty of ways the Cardinals could find themselves in a different spot, but the main point is that if the Cardinals can take care of their own business, they won’t need to worry.

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Clear your calendars, this might as well be the playoffs and this is must-watch baseball for the next 10 games. It is perfectly fine to scoreboard watch this time of year and with a magic number at eight, if the Cardinals somehow win all four in Chicago, they could be celebrating their division win in as early as Sunday afternoon.

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