THE CARDINALS. (Please friends, read on, I'm wired with coffee at this early hour and don't know how long this may be)
First off let me say I think the Cubs will win the division. STL has made up lots of ground over the last 10 days, but that IN PART is because the Brewers have been so bad(obviously). If the Brewers and/or Cubs were winning over that same period, face it, we would not be "fearing" the next to worst pitching in the NL (Yeah they have been good since August 6th, they are going to be back to back contenders now? Not likely)
I'll pin point some reasons the Cardinals won't be the worst regular season team to make the post season. First off, they are 8-7 this month, HARDLY GREAT (yeah its better than the Cubs but we are still up 2 on them). Secondly, you can't really say they are the best team in the central because they have been really bad all season and I think that qualifies them to be mentioned in the ranks of the Pirates and Reds. The best all around team in this division is the Cubs. I'm not speaking as a fan, I watch/listen to all NL baseball and keep up with the facts and stats all hours of the day and pitching still matters most (Cubs have a 4.07 ERA, compared to Milwaukee's 4.48 and Cardinals 4.70). Like that baseball writer said in the rain delay the other day, Zambrano and Lilly are the key. I think if Z can pitch to maximum ability, meaning finishing with about 19 wins and Lilly can win about 16-17 games, that SHOULD be enough to win this. Murton and Jones have really stepped up big and thats like getting a great player via trade. We all witnessed how good this team can be, and it can be better, but its still better than the Cardinals (Pujols is a scary guy in times like these, eek). It is very true that momentum is a huge part, but that goes for every would be contender so theres no advantage as of yet. EXPERIENCE IS OVER-RATED! Look at the guys that won in 2005. OUR GUYS GOTTA TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS! THATS ALL!
Sorry guys and gals but I'm not worried about STL. I don't pretend to know the odds of the Cardinals doing the improbable, but is gotta be very low. Yes, even with Kip Wells as their "Ace"