ST. LOUIS – Two days left in the St. Louis Cardinals regular season. Two possible outcomes for a first-round postseason opponent.

The Cardinals will host either the San Diego Padres or the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game Wild Card Series this weekend. The Phillies clinched the last possible opening for postseason on Monday, eliminating a competitive Cardinals division rival in the Milwaukee Brewers.

That said, seeding remains on the line for the fifth and sixth National League seeds. The Cardinals will host the sixth-seed come Friday, though they are not particularly in a position to control who they might play.

Here’s where things stand Tuesday… The Padres hold an 88-72 record for the No. 5 seed. The Phillies hold an 87-73 record for the No. 6 seed. San Diego has two games remaining against an average San Francisco Giants team. Philadelphia has two game remaining against the American League-leading Houston Astros.

In the event the Phillies and Padres end up with the same record at the regular season’s end, the Phillies hold a tiebreaker to claim the fifth seed, winning the head-to-head season series, 4-3. Due to such circumstances….

The Cardinals will play the Phillies if…

  • The Padres win both of their final two games.
  • The Padres and Phillies split their final two games.
  • The Phillies lose their final two games.

The Cardinals will play the Padres if…

  • The Phillies win their final two games and the Padres lose at least once.
  • The Phillies win of their final two games and the Padres lost both.

Although the Padres and Phillies haven’t made the postseason all too often in recent history, now with just three combined bids over the past decade, either one could present challenges to the Cardinals.

Philadelphia won the season series, 4-3, over the Cardinals and shut out St. Louis three times. That said, the Cardinals have a different dynamic with their pitching staff since last playing the Phillies in July and even pulled off an impressive streak with four home runs in four consecutive at-bats against them earlier this season.

San Diego dropped the season series, 4-2, against the Cardinals, though won a recent head-to-head series at their home ballpark two weeks ago and shut out the Cardinals twice in that stretch. St. Louis did average around five runs per game in each win, which would be crucial against a star-filled lineup with Manny Machado and Juan Soto.

For now, the Cardinals play the waiting game. There’s a chance they could know who they play by the end of Tuesday night, but current trends suggest that they’ll have a stronger idea after the final game Wednesday. Game times have not yet been announced for the Wild Card series either.