There was some discussion over the weekend regarding comments made by Tom Verducci on the Saturday FOX game of the week. Apparently the Reds beat up on the weak teams but can’t beat the better teams.

A little fact checking would show that the Reds have played 57 games against teams with a record of .500 or better. They went 29-28 for a .509 Wpct in those games. It was 28-27 at the time of the broadcast. Against teams who would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, the Reds have gone 19-16. While it is true that they have won two-thirds of their games against sub-.500 teams, they’ve beaten the good teams, too.

On the other hand, the Cardinals have played 55 games against teams with a .500 or better record, going 27-28, a .491 Wpct. Their record against playoff teams is 12-15, and they have not yet played Washington.

Of those National League teams who would be in the playoffs today (plus Pittsburgh), only Cincinnati and Washington have a winning record against winning teams. Everyone beats up on the losing teams.

Team Versus .500+ Wpct Against Sub-.500 Wpct
WAS 30-24 0.556 47-26 0.644
CIN 29-28 0.509 48-24 0.667
STL 27-28 0.491 43-29 0.597
SFG 31-34 0.477 40-23 0.635
ATL 29-34 0.460 44-21 0.677
PIT 28-34 0.452 40-25 0.615

Verducci’s characterization would actually be best suited for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They’ve only gone 28-34 (.452 Wpct) against .500 teams this year and are fading quickly. Over their last 27 games dating back to July 29th, Pittsburgh is 10-17 and was outscored by 30 runs in that span.

The Reds may have lost the weekend series to St. Louis, but overall they have split the 12 games against the Cardinals this year. Their six game lead is still the largest division lead over 2nd place in all of baseball. The Reds sent their 4th and 5th best starters to the mound while Votto watched from the bench all weekend. This series says nothing about how these two teams matchup in the playoffs.