The Cincinnati Reds have announced their playoff rotation, and with the ability to clinch a spot in the playoffs on Friday night, it allows them to set things up just how they want to. Trevor Bauer, who was scheduled to pitch on Sunday if needed, will now forgo that start and will pitch the first game of the playoffs on Wednesday. He’ll be followed in game two by Luis Castillo on Thursday. If needed, Sonny Gray will pitch in a decisive game three on Friday.

Who the Reds will play, and where, is still unknown. This year the first round of the playoffs will be a best of three series hosted at the higher seeds home ballpark before teams go to Texas (National League) and California (American League) to enter the playoff bubble for the remainder of the postseason.

Trevor Bauer

We won’t find out if Trevor Bauer won the Cy Young Award until after the playoffs, but he’s got as good of an argument as anyone (and probably a better one, at that). At the time, no one knew that the start against Milwaukee on the 23rd would be his final start of the year. But with how everything has worked out since, it was. And talk about going out on a high note. Bauer struck out 12 batters in 8.0 innings with just one run, one walk, and just four hits allowed. That dropped his ERA to a National League best 1.73 and gave him 100 strikeouts in 73.0 innings on the year.

Luis Castillo

Not needed to pitch again until Thursday, manager David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson decided to send Luis Castillo to the mound on Saturday in Minnesota to keep him on normal rest. It wasn’t his best start of the season as he allowed four earned in 4.0 innings. He finishes the regular season with a 3.21 ERA in 70.0 innings with 24 walks and 89 strikeouts.

Sonny Gray

Later today will see Sonny Gray take the mound against the Twins in the regular season finale. The right-handed starter was initially scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen this weekend, just to get some work and be ready for the playoffs – but now he’ll go on Sunday and be ready for Friday if needed, or for the National League Division Series if a game three isn’t needed. He’ll enter the game with a 3.73 ERA in 50.2 innings with 22 walks and 68 strikeouts. Of course, those numbers don’t tell the story – Gray’s first two starts of September destroyed his ERA when he was clearly pitching at less than 100% health and he then spent some time on the injured list before returning last week. Outside of those two starts he’s thrown 46.2 innings this season with an ERA of 1.93.

19 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I believe the SanFran loss last night removes the 8 seed from the equation. One more Cards or Marlins win removes the 5, if I’m not mistaken.
    I like our chances.

  2. Don

    As of games ending on Saturday:
    Top 4 in NL are set
    #1 – Dodgers
    #2 – Braves
    #3 – Cubs
    #4 – Padres

    NL Standings and Tie Breakers for #5 to 8
    Records, games left
    #5 – Cards 29-28(win%.5087), 1 Brewers, 2 Tigers?
    #6 – Marlins (30-29) 1 Yankees
    #7 – Reds (30-29)(win%.5085) 1 Twins
    #8 – Giants (29-30) 1 Padres
    #9 – Brewers (29-30) 1 Cards
    #10 – Phillies (28-31) 1 Rays

    Division Head to Head
    Cards over Reds (6-4)
    Reds over Brewers (6-4)
    Brewers over Cards (5-4) 1 to play

    Division records for WC tiebreakers & Div games left
    Cards (21-18) 1 Brewers
    Marlins (21-19)
    Reds (21-19)
    Brewers (19-20) 1 Cards
    Giants (18-21) 1 Padres
    Phillies (21-19)

    Last 20 intradivsion games of season (2nd tiebreaker) record
    – if teams tied keep adding games until there is a team with a better record.
    Marlins (12-8) Game21=L,22=W,23=W
    Reds (12-8), Game21=L,22=W,23=L
    Cards (10-9) 1 Brewers
    Brewers (10-9) 1 Cards
    Giants (9-10) 1 Padres
    Phillies (8-12)

  3. Colorado Red

    If the CARDS lose and the Reds win, we can get 6 or 5.
    If the Marlins also lose we get 5.
    If the Marlins win we get 6.
    If the CARDS win, we get 7.
    I also do not think we get 8.
    I like our chances in a best of 3, against anyone in the league.

  4. Don

    I think I have all the possible scenarios below and the results are that the Reds can still be 5,6,or 7.
    Reds will NOT play Dodgers in Wild Card.

    If I missed one that someone else figures out, post it and we can figure out that one as well.

    Using the Tie Breaking rules and that the Cards do not play Monday if only seeding is impacted and Cards only play games if whom is in or out can be impacted.

    Scenario #1
    Cards & Marlins win, Reds win or lose
    Cards own tiebreaker vs Marlins & Giants no matter what either do.
    #5 = Cards Win (30-28) (0.5172 win%)
    #6 = Marlins (31-29) (0.5166 win%)
    #7 = Reds (31-29) (0.5166 win%)
    Options for 8th seed.
    #8 = Giants with a win
    #8 = Phillies with a win and Giants Loss
    #8 = Brewers if both Phillies and Giants lose

    Scenario #2
    Reds win, Cards lose (Brewers win=Phillies out), Marlins & Giants lose
    Cards and Giants have 29 wins and Cards own tiebreaker over the Giants if Cards were to lose two on Monday, Cards do not play Monday
    #5 = Reds (31-29)
    #6 = Marlins (30-30)
    #7 – Brewers (30-30) – Tie Breaker vs Cards
    #8 – Cards (29-29)

    Scenario #3
    Reds lose, Cards lose (Brewers win=Phillies out), Marlins (Win or lose), Giants Lose
    Cards do not play Monday as only seeding is impacted
    Reds, Brewers and Cards all have 500 records and are in playoffs
    Seeding Tiebreakers for NL Central teams
    All three NL Central teams are 10-10 against each other
    Reds and Cards are both 21-19 in division, Brewers are 20-20
    Cards are 6-4 vs Reds – Cards get higher seed
    Reds are 6-4 vs Brewers – Reds get higher seed
    #5 – Marlins (31-29) or (30-30 with last 20 div game Tiebreaker vs Cards)
    #6 – Cards (29-29) – Tie Breaker over Reds and Brewers
    #7 – Reds (30-30) – Tie Breaker over Brewers
    #8 – Brewers (30-30)

    Scenario #4
    Reds win, Cards lose (Brewers win=Phillies out), Marlins & Giants win
    Marlins and Reds 31-29, Brewers 30-30, Cards 29-29 and Giants 30-30
    Marlins have tie breaker over Reds and Cards
    Brewers and Cards have Tiebreaker vs Giants.
    Cards have to play Monday to determine if Cards or Giants make Playoffs
    #5 = Marlins (Locked in)
    #6,7,8 depend on what Cards do on Monday
    Options for #6 seed
    #6 = Reds (Cards lose 1 game on Monday)
    #6 = Cards (Cards win 2 games on Monday)
    Options for #7 seed
    #7 = Cards (Cards win game #1 Monday, eliminates Giants)
    #7 = Brewers (Cards lose game 1 and win game 2 on Monday or lose both)
    #7 = Reds (Cards win 2 games on Monday)
    Options for #8
    #8= Brewers (Cards win Game #1 on Monday)
    #8 = Cards (Cards lose game 1 and win game 2 on Monday)
    #8 = Giants (Cards lose both games on Monday)

    Scenario #5
    Reds win, Cards lose (Brewers win=Phillies out), Marlins Lose, Giants win
    Reds 31-29, Marlins and Brewers 30-30, Cards 29-29 and Giants 30-30
    Cards have to play Monday to determine if Cards or Giants make Playoffs
    Options for #5 Seed
    #5 – Reds (Cards lose 1 game on Monday)
    #5 – Cards (Cards win 2 games on Monday)
    Options for #6
    #6 = Marlins (locked in)
    Options for #7 seed
    #7 = Reds (Cards win 2 games on Monday)
    #7 = Cards (Cards win game #1 Monday, eliminates Giants)
    #7 = Brewers (Cards lose game #1 and win game 2 on Monday or Cards lose both)
    Options for #8
    #8 = Brewers (Cards win 2 Games)
    #8 = Cards (Cards lose 1 game and win game 2 on Monday)
    #8 – Giants (Cards lose both games on Monday)

    • Mark Moore

      +100,000 for all your work on this Don!

      No #8, no trip to Chavez Ravine for us. #7 is a solid slot and puts us in the Cubs/Braves bracket. #6 is possible (though less likely given all the moving parts) and also puts us in that bracket.

      Interestingly enough, if we go through the Dodgers/Padres bracket and keep winning, we play a few more games in Arlington. That’s where the WS will be and it gives a team 3-5 more chances to size up the ballpark. Not a huge deal, but something worth considering if we end up somehow at #5 and go visit the Padres.

  5. Don

    Whom and Where should the Reds want to Play?

    Weather for Reds possible Wild Card cities
    San Diego – Mid 80s Sunny all three games

    Wed = 71 partly sunny
    Thurs = 74 sunny
    Fri = 68 sunny

    Wed = 66 – Sunny, Wind West 12mph, Gust 17
    Thurs = 58 – Rain showers, Wind WNW 15 MPH, Gust 22
    Fri = 55 – Part sun, Wind WNW 9 MPH, Gust 14

    #3 Offsense @ 5.42 runs per game
    #7 ERA @ 3.85
    #9 in overall defense @ 4.02 runs per game allowed
    Clevenger may be out which would hurt Padres pitching.

    #1 offense in MLB @ 5.88 runs per game
    #13 ERA @ 4.33
    #16 overall defense @ 4.73 runs per game allowed

    #22 offense @ 4.32 runs per game
    #9 ERA @ 3.92
    #6 overall defense @ 3.93 runs per game allowed
    Bad weather for Game 2 is not good for Castillo pitching as last night showed.

    #28 offense @ 4.03 Runs per game
    #8 ERA @ 3.88
    #10 overall defense # 4.07 runs per game allowed

    Padres – do not want to travel to west coast as Reds historically have not fared will on west coast, would think this is due to time zone and Jet Lag. Also most likely would be later games (8 PM west coast game) and do not want to have to stay up that late (finisih 1 to 2 am) to watch the games.

    Braves have best offense and the lowest ranked pitching and defense of the 3.
    Braves pitching has some injuries to top of rotation starters.
    Weather in Atlanta looks idea, should be a good HR ballpark for the Reds

    Reds were 4-6 vs Cubs, 1-2 on Chicago and the weather does not looks like good for HR hitting after Wednesday.
    Would rather play the Cubs indoors in Houston in Division series so no Windy City weather impact.

    Reds playing Braves in Atlanta seems like the best WC scenario.

    My rooting for Sunday will be for a Cards win and Reds to lose so Cards get #5 and Reds #7

    • docproc

      I’m with you on wanting to play in Atlanta in the Eastern Time Zone.
      BTW, I think we only need a Cards win to achieve that. If the Cards win, it won’t matter what the Reds do. Would like to see the Reds win their final game.

      • Don

        You are correct Cards Win
        Cards #5
        Marlins #6
        Reds #7

      • Don

        I meant to say for Today’s results
        that a Cards win is priority #1

        Is Cards lose also have Reds lose as Reds lose they are less likely to get #5 and have to face Padres.

    • Mark Moore

      +10,000 more for this angle, Don. I’m loving it.

      • Don

        your welcome.

        I enjoyed doing this on a relaxing Sunday am with the Reds in the playoff and not having to play the Dodgers in WC round.

    • Colorado Red

      I am just glad they playing, and not watching on TV.
      GO REDS.

    • 2020ball

      Thank you for these Don, very thorough and informative!

    • Don

      Some personal goals for players

      Suarez, Senzel needs some hits (1-1,1-2, or 2 hits with less than 6 ABs) to be above the Mendoza line for the season.

      Aquinio need to be 1-1 or have 2 hits in less than 6 ABs to be above the Mendoza line for the season.

      Garcia needs to get 1 hit in up to 4 ABs to be above the Mendoza line.

      I am sure they all do not want their baseball cards to have a season avg below .200

      • Mark Moore

        Hope the team “feels loose” today. Haven’t checked the weather up there yet. Regardless, we’re in an playing on Wednesday. That’s a good thing on this weird 30th anniversary of the magical wire-to-wire run.

      • docproc

        With you on all of these, Don. Mendoza is a worthy goal.

  6. Mark Moore

    I did a little math earlier today and came up with a full season Bauer line. Somewhere approaching 200 innings pitched with well over 250 K’s … I’m just stunned. And I’m going to miss him. I hope he gets his Cy Young with us and a shot at a ring. I’d love to see him return, but I’m pretty sure somebody is going to pay a huge number for his services for however many years Trevor chooses to accept.