NL playoff standings: Cardinals win 5th straight, move ahead of Braves for top spot

Dilip Vishwanat

Heading into the season's final day of the regular season, the third through fifth seeds are known in the National League playoffs, with the Cardinals and Braves fighting for the No. 1 seed.

The Cardinals won their fifth straight game on Saturday and inched closer to claiming the top spot in the National League. We will find out on Sunday whether St. Louis or Atlanta is the No. 1 seed, with the No. 2 seed hosting the Dodgers beginning on Thursday.

Here are Saturday's relevant results.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 2: Soon-to-be NL Cy Young runner-up Adam Wainwright pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning, leading St. Louis to a fifth straight win and a one-game lead over the Braves.

Pirates 8, Reds 3: Pittsburgh hit six home runs, including one by old friend Andrew Lambo, to win in Cincinnati again and clinched the top wild card spot over the Reds. Sunday's series finale is now meaningless, but the NL wild card game between these same two teams will be held on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh at 5:07 p.m. PT.

Phillies 5, Braves 4: Jonathan Papelbon nearly blew a 5-1 lead in the ninth inning, but Philadelphia held on to push Atlanta one game back of St. Louis with one game to play.

The Braves hold the tiebreaker over the Cardinals by winning four of their seven head-to-head games during the regular season. St. Louis clinches the No. 1 seed with either a win over Chicago or a loss by Atlanta to Philadelphia. The Braves need both a Cubs win and to beat the Phillies in order to claim the top spot.

The Dodgers will open the NLDS on the road against the No. 2 seed beginning on Thursday.

The regular season's final day finds two meaningful National League games (all times PT):

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