How the Cardinals can play spoiler for playoff-hopeful teams in September

With one month left in the season, the Cardinals have the chance to play spoiler for potential playoff teams. Which teams' seasons can the Cardinals impact the greatest in the final month?

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
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There is one month left in the baseball season. In a normal season for the Cardinals, fans will be counting down Magic Numbers, looking at potential playoff matchups, and celebrating a division championship. The 2023 season, however, is presenting a different case. This year, rather than avoiding season-ending spoiler teams, the Cardinals can instead play spoiler for other teams in baseball. Young players such as Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, Matthew Liberatore, and Zack Thompson will try and make a name for themselves; therefore, they will be pushing heavily to compete at a high level.

Of the 8 series left to play, 7 of them have playoff implications for the Cardinals' opponents. St. Louis travels to Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Baltimore throughout the next week. They then see Philadelphia and Milwaukee at home, followed by a road trip to San Diego and then back to Milwaukee. The Redbirds finish the season with a home series against the Reds again.

Some of those teams have locked in their position in the playoffs (Phillies, Brewers, and Baltimore), one has virtually locked up the division (Atlanta), and another is chasing a Wild Card berth (Reds). While the Cardinals can't kick any of these teams out of the playoffs, they have the ability to shake up the playoff picture heavily.

The Cardinals have the ability to impact the American League East and the National League Wild Card by season's end. Winning games against in-division rivals and interleague opponents could really shake up the playoff picture by the end of September.

Let's take a look a three ways in which the Cardinals can play spoiler to end the season.