The Cardinals come in as winners of the NL Central while the Pirates are fresh off their win over the Cincinnati Reds in their one-game playoff for a wild-card berth.
The Pirates took 10 of 19 games from the Cardinals this season, showing just how close it has been between these teams all year. But make no mistake about it, both are done celebrating their recent victories and are focused on the first game of the series in St. Louis.
Let's take a look at three keys for each team in Game 1.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, all stats obtained from Baseball-reference.com.