The Cardinals and the Astros were division rivals for over half a century, with the rivalry coming to a head in a series of epic playoff series in the mid-2000's.
Those days are but a distant memory now, as Houston (48-99), which will move to the AL West in 2013, continues playing out the string in one of the worst seasons in franchise history. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are locked in a tight playoff race for the NL Wild Card race, only a game up on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As a result, this week's series is the closest a rebuilding Astros team could come to a playoff chance for a long while. Houston will be sending Fernando Abad, a third-year pitcher with only four career starts, to the mound to face Kyle Lohse, who has emerged as the Cardinals ace in 2012, with a 14-3 record and a 2.81 ERA.
The 7:15 p.m. game will be telecast on Fox Sports Houston and broadcast on the radio on KTRH 740 AM.