CHICAGO -- Now is the time for the Pirates to take care of business -- at least if they can muster the energy to wake up.
The Pirates defeated the Cubs, 3-0, at Wrigley Field in a game that didn't begin until 10:42 p.m. CT on Monday. Now they leave Chicago and begin a key three-game series on Tuesday night at PNC Park with the Brewers, with whom Pittsburgh is tied in the National League Wild Card standings.
Both teams are 2 1/2 games behind the Cardinals for the second spot, while the Dodgers sit a game behind the Redbirds.
The Phillies, 3 1/2 games back of St. Louis, and D-backs (4 1/2) remain close behind Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.
Tuesday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Dodgers (Harang, 9-9) at Nationals (Zimmermann, 10-8), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Brewers (Gallardo, 15-8) at Pirates (Burnett, 15-7), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Astros (Abad, 0-4) at Cardinals (Lohse, 14-3), 8:15 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.
A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.
If two clubs are tied for the two Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.
2012 postseason schedule
Wild Card playoff games: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
AL Championship Series: Oct. 13-21
NL Championship Series: Oct. 14-22
World Series: Oct. 24-Nov. 1