For the first half of the season, it really seemed as if there'd be a four-team race right into September between the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds and upstart Pittsburgh Pirates.
Since the All-Star break, the Reds and Pirates have cooled off a bit. Now, the race is down to two serious contenders. Consistency will play a big part in who does what. In head-to-head competition, the Brewers have beaten the Cards eight times in 12 meetings.
Here is where the spoilers will have a role. Both the Brewers and Cardinals have spanked the Astros 8 of 12 meetings. Neither team has handled the Reds well.
Cincinnati is 5 of 9 against the Cards and 7 of 11 against Milwaukee. The Cubs are 3 of 7 against the Brew Crew and only 2 of 9 against the Cards.