The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves 1.5 games back in the race for the final NL Wild Card slot, but can take advantage of another easy series this weekend against the Cubs.
The Bucs gained a game on Wednesday night, earning a series victory against the hapless Astros while St. Louis and Los Angeles both lost, pulling the Pirates into a tie with the Dodgers and bringing them a game closer to the Cardinals. All three teams are in action this weekend, but Pittsburgh has the easiest matchup: after taking on the last-place Astros, they now move on to the second-to-last-place Cubs, who were just swept by Washington. Meanwhile, St. Louis has a respectable Milwaukee squad on the docket, while Los Angeles has to take on the NL West leaders in San Francisco. If all goes well, Pittsburgh could pull into the Wild Card lead this weekend, although they'd be very happy to cut the deficit to half a game while gaining a game on the Dodgers.
Here's a look at the full Wild Card standings:
National League Wild Card Standings
|St. Louis||74||63||.540||3.5||Lost 1|
|Los Angeles||73||65||.528||5||Lost 2|
|New York||65||72||.474||12.5||Won 1|
|San Diego||64||74||.463||14||Won 2|
(updated 9.7.2012 at 10:21 AM CDT)