Cheap Seats

Astros preview

There's no doubt that the Cardinals took care of business on their west coast road trip, taking five of seven games.

While that was fun, it's also the past. And now the Redbirds need to take care of business at home against the Astros and Nationals. While they enjoy a comfortable lead, the Astros always play the Cardinals tough and the Nationals are playing much better than they were early in the season. Washington is over .500 in August at 12-10.

The Cardinals are 5-4 this season against Houston. They swept the Astros in St. Louis to complete the first week of the season then they returned the favor by letting Houston sleep them in July. The Birds won two of three July 21-August 2.

Pitching match ups:

Tuesday: Adam Wainwright vs. Wandy Rodriguez

Wednesday: Roy Oswalt vs. Joel Pineiro

Thursday: Brian Moehler vs. Chris Carpenter

The Cardinals play their next nine -- and 18 of their next 24 games -- at Busch Stadium where they are 36-24 this season and 32-24 against teams from the National League Central.