If there has been one constant for the National League Central during the 2013 season, it has been that there are three constants. The St. Louis Cardinals have been unable to shake the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds all season long. Now as fate would have it, they await their N.L. Central opponents’ wildcard playoff game to see which of their season long rivals will face them during the NLDS beginning in a few days.
As far as which of their season-long rivals they would prefer to face in the best of five series, the Cardinals might actually not care that much. Either way, it will be a tough series. The season series against the Reds was won by the Cardinals 11 – 8 while the Pirates defeated the Cardinals in the season series by a record of 9 – 10. That might suggest that they would rather face the Reds but wait a minute; not so fast.
They played a couple of series each during the end of August and the start of September. Those series went the other way. They beat the Pirates 4 out of 6 games and lost 4 of 7 to the Reds. Either way we slice it, the Cardinals have an opponent coming to them that knows them extremely well. Considering the history with the wildcard teams that the Cardinals hold, they might wish for a few minutes that they had not won home field throughout the playoffs. There is a very good chance that they are looking at a full five games no matter which team wins the wildcard spot.