Long homestand gives Cardinals chance to extend division lead

John Lackey takes the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in tonight's makeup game against the Kansas City Royals. The best two teams in baseball could be headed for their first World Series matchup since the I-70 Showdown 30 years ago.

The Cardinals' comeback win Wednesday at the Chicago White Sox, highlighted by catcher Yadier Molina's bases-loaded triple in the eighth-inning, gave St. Louis four wins in five games since the All-Star break for a six-game lead over the previously hard-charging Pittsburgh Pirates.

Lackey has been brilliant of late, going 4-1 with a 1.63 ERA over his last seven starts overall, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

He can set the tone for an 11-game homestand that could practically end the NL Central race just as August gets going.

The Braves, Reds and Rockies follow the Royals into Busch Stadium, which will see games every night through Aug. 2.

The potential lineup move to watch tonight and beyone after several games utilizing the DH in an American League ballpark is the possible move of Matt Holliday back to left and potentially rookie Stephen Piscotty getting the start at first base.

(h/t St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports