Who will win the NL Central title and who will end up with a wild-card spot?

By Jenna West
September 28, 2019

There's only one day left in the 2019 regular season, but there's still plenty to be determined in the National League Central.

While both the Cardinals (90–71) and Brewers (89–72) have clinched a postseason berth, the NL Central remains in play. St. Louis entered the final week of the season looking like it had the crown on lock. However, the club has lost four straight games and has a narrow one-game lead over the Brewers in the division standings entering play Sunday. Meanwhile, Milwaukee has been on an absolute tear this month, winning 20 of its last 26 games. 

Sunday is a make-or-break day for both the Cardinals and Brewers.

The team that falls short in the NL Central will have to travel to D.C. on Tuesday to face Max Scherzer and the Nationals in the single-elimination NL wild-card game at Nationals Park.

The Cardinals are sending ace Jack Flaherty to the mound in Game 162 to hold onto their division title hopes. Already without MVP Christian Yelich, Milwaukee faces further lineup uncertainty after Lorenzo Cain left Saturday night's game with a left ankle sprain, while Ryan Braun is still dealing with a left calf strain. Below are all the possible playoff scenarios depending on what happens Sunday.

• If the Cardinals win... they win the Central, regardless of what the Brewers do.

• If the Brewers win and the Cardinals lose... the two teams will be tied in the standings, forcing a winner-take-all Game 163. The winner will face the Braves in the NLDS, while the loser will play the Nationals in the wild-card game. If there is a Game 163 the Cardinals will host because they won the head-to-head series against Milwaukee this season.

• If the Brewers lose and the Cardinals lose... St. Louis wins the Central.

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