The streaking St. Louis Cardinals (72-54) begin a nine game homestand when they take on the Houston Astros (61-63) who are 10 games behind but have won 4 out of their last five games and do not fear the Cardinals. Although the Astros are 4-5 against the Cardinals this season, the Astros swept the Cardinals a little over a month ago in Houston, and are 4-2 in their last six against the Cards.
The series will feature three great pitching matchups. On Tuesday, Wandy Rodriguez (12-7) will face Adam Wainwright (14-7). On Wednesday, Roy Oswalt (7-4) will face Joel Pineiro (12-9). On Thursday in the finale, the Astros will pitch Brian Moehler (8-9) against staff ace Chris Carpenter (14-3). The Cardinals have an opportunity to give both Wainwright and Carpenter their 15th wins of the season, which will most likely continue to tie them for the league lead.
The Cardinals need to win, because the Cubs have an opportunity to gain ground as they host the Washington Nationals for a three-game series.