PNC Park is getting closer and closer to hosting its first playoff game. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

This upcoming week is the most important so far in determining the Pirates' overall playoff chances and division-winning chances.

The Bucs get three games against the St. Louis Cardinals to extend their lead in the National League Central, then they play three against the Arizona Diamondbacks to chip away at their magic number for a playoff berth. Their current playoff odds sit at 98.2 percent.

It's easy to see why this week is important when you look at the standings:

National League Central

Pittsburgh: 70-47
St. Louis: 67-50 (3.0 games back)
Cincinnati: 66-52 (4.5 games back)

National League Wild Card

St. Louis: 67-50 (1.5 games ahead)
Cincinnati: 66-52 (---)
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