September 26: Cardinals (83-71) @ Astros (50-104)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

No David Freese again — no surprise there. All along the Cardinals anticipated Freese needing until at least Friday to heal from a right ankle sprain. Adron Chambers gets a rare start in right field in place of Carlos Beltran, who went 0-for-8 in the first two games of this series.

Inside the Cardinals’ clubhouse, a narrow focus remains. This is a club insistent upon looking at things on a day-by-day basis, meaning there has really been very little talk about how comfortable a 4.5-game lead for the final postseason spot may be with only seven games remaining.

As it is, the Cardinals could put themselves in position to clinch a Wild Card berth as early as Friday, if they finish off a sweep of the Astros today.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Jon Jay (CF)
  2. Matt Carpenter (3B)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Allen Craig (1B)
  5. Yadier Molina (C)
  6. Adron Chambers (RF)
  7. Daniel Descalso (2B)
  8. Pete Kozma (SS)
  9. Chris Carpenter (RHP)

ASTROS LINEUP:

  1. Jose Altuve (2B)
  2. Scott Moore (RF)
  3. Jed Lowrie (SS)
  4. Justin Maxwell (CF)
  5. Brett Wallace (1B)
  6. Jason Castro (C)
  7. Fernando Martinez (LF)
  8. Brandon Laird (3B)
  9. Bud Norris (RHP)

Wild Card standings are here.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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