While it’s a bit silly to look at playoff odds in April or even May, some of us still do so. Fangraphs and Baseball Reference both provide their calculations (based on very different formulas) throughout the season and are updated daily. Sometimes we even include the playoff odds in the game previews. It’s fun to look at….. when the team is doing well, at least.

Right now the Cincinnati Reds are doing well. So well that if the season were to end today they would be in the playoffs as the #2 wild card. After last night’s shutout of the Miami Marlins the Reds are 71-59. September hasn’t even begun and Cincinnati already has more wins than any year from 2015-2018. That of course is a combination of the 2021 squad playing well and just how bad those “rebuild” year teams were.

With each day that goes by there is one less day for someone to catch the Reds. As long as they win their playoff odds are going to continue to climb. When the team(s) trailing them lose, it’s the same thing – even on days when the Reds lose. As of this morning, Fangraphs has the Reds odds of making the playoffs at 73.1%. The Padres, who are the closest team to them in the wild card, are at 20.8%. Over the last four weeks the two teams have gone in massively different directions.

Let’s take a look at the Playoff Odds chart comparing the two teams from the start of the year until today:

One team has fallen off of a cliff and the other team has taken off like Gamestop stock in late January.

The Reds, as we noted yesterday, have the second easiest schedule remaining in all of Major League Baseball. They need to go out and take care of business, but they should be able to do that if they continue to play as expected.

Tyler Naquin, baseball crusher

The first month of the season was a good one for Tyler Naquin. He posted a .914 OPS and hit six home runs. But then he struggled a bit for the next three months. From May through July he hit just .237/.293/.382 in 73 games. Overall to that point in the season his production was solid for a bench/utility player, but it was heavily weighted at the start of the year.

Then August began and just like a flip of a switch, the lights came on and Tyler Naquin began to hit like he’s Barry Bonds. In 22 games this month the Reds outfielder has hit .419/.488/.797 with 15 extra-base hits and 10 walks in 22 games (84 plate appearances). It’s been even better over the last 10 games where he’s hit an absurd .514/.550/1.081. That’s an OPS of 1.631 for those who didn’t want to do that math.

38 Responses

  1. Cubano

    Where’s the guy crowing about this being a 60 win team back at the beginning of the season? Time to own up-

    • Greenfield Red

      That’s me, and I stand by it. I predicted and hoped for 67-95. My goal for the Reds is to win the World Series… nothing less. Making the playoffs as the 2nd wildcard is fun to watch, fun to watch guys have really good years, fun to have as many as 3 ROY candidates. But, they still are going to have a one game playoff on the West Coast against a great pitcher, and if they somehow get past that, as series against another West Coast team where they have little to no chance to win.

      Many disagree with me, and I get it. But winning the Series is the only goal for me. Making the playoffs and then losing in the first or second round does little to reach that goal.

      Reds ownership has no intention of competing with the Dodgers or Yankees on the payroll side, so that leaves drafting and development. They seem to have taken some steps forward on the development side, and they have some talent in the system (some of which is in Cincy now). But, in my opinion, it’s still not enough to win it all. They need more top talent in the system. The best way to get that talent is to draft 1st. The way to draft 1st is to finish 67-95 or worse.

      I am enjoying this season a great deal, but I know it will not end in a championship. I think most on here know that too.

      So yes, I own it. I predicted it, which was obviously wrong. With the goal of a World Series title in the latter years of my life, I also hoped for it, and while some disagree, I think I’m right.

      • Doug Gray

        When everyone is either basically all in on winning or all in on losing, trying to lose on purpose for a draft pick is a failure of a strategy. The only people it’s good for are the people who own the team and get to keep more of that sweet television money to themselves.

      • Greenfield Red

        Doug, I know you and I disagree on this. I just want the Reds to win it all, and I don’t see it as even a possibility with the current formula. Getting more talent in the system is the correct route…IMO.

        I see it as the Reds ownership, like the Bengals, has no real interest in winning a championship. They both have an interest in fielding a competitive team so people with go to enough games, buy enough stuff , and watch enough on tv or listen on the radio so they make a profit. Neither have any interest making the commitment it takes to field a perennial winner.

        I don’t even watch the NFL anymore, but I pay enough attention to know the Bengals Ownership should be tarred and feathered for drafting that kid last year and throwing him out there without an NFL caliber offensive line. His injury was predictable. Same thing in Indy with Andrew Luck. A generational talent they said, with a patchwork line.
        It nearly got him killed. It’s no different with the Reds really.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s very different. In the NFL having a franchise quarterback is enough to make you a contender for your division. In baseball you can have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the same team and still have a terrible team.

        Teams aren’t made in MLB with one player. They are made with 20-50 of them. That’s not a “we need a higher draft pick” thing. It’s a “we need to be good at almost every aspect of the organization” thing. Some of that is drafting well. Some of that is having more money to spend. Plenty of it is making good trades. Plenty is development. And plenty of it is also flat out luck (particularly with regards to injuries).

      • B-town fan

        Greenfield, this is not Football or Basketball where you lose on purpose to get high first round picks, there is no sure thing in Baseball even with high first round picks not even close. But even in Football getting high first round picks is no guarantee, look at the Steelers and Patriots they are perennial playoff and championship contenders year in and year out and they never pick at the top of the draft.

      • James K

        It’s hard to go from worst to first without passing through the middle.

      • Old-school

        The biggest problem in baseball is too many teams dont try. If 14 teams dont try, you might get the 8th pick. Washington and the Cubs absolutely quit on the season, joining the Dbacks/Rockies/Pirates/marlins/Orioles/ royals/tigers/Rangers.

        I want a team that isnt awful that has a shot every year. That 1990 team wasnt supposed to beat the Pirates and certainly not the A’s. The 2012 team could have won it.

        The Resurrection of Joey Votto has now married the old with the new and not only for 2021 but 2022 as well. This team has a winning window. Not sure the Cards/CuBS or Pirates do for a while.

      • Greenfield Red

        We’re gonna disagree. It won’t do me any good to say “I told you so” when the Reds eventually bow out this year because it’s so predictable, that none of you disagreeing with me actually think the Reds will win the Series this year or anytime soon. I guess if they win it all, you all can say “I told you so” to me. I hope that happens, but I won’t hold my breathe.

        I know there are differences between MLB and NFL, but the basic philosophy of the franchises is the same. Be competitive, sell stuff, make money. Don’t spend any more than you have to in order to do those things.

        I disagree in peace. The Reds are my only remaining Sports interest after a lifetime of moving from season to season with some game on TV every night. We don’t even have cable to watch the Reds anymore. It’s just what I get here and from 700 WLW.

      • Jim Walker

        I’d like to see some sort of relegation scheme to force the tankers to try. I don’t suppose MLB will ever have a real relegation scheme like international football (soccer for those who insist). However, MLB could certainly devise a financial relegation scheme that would force the tanking ownerships into trying or selling out to somebody who would try.

      • Old-school

        Good comments and I hear where you are coming from. I guess I would say every season in every sport ends with everyone falling off the cliff except 1. Gotta enjoy the process and the reds process has been way better. No one can guarantee anything. Look at the Mets.

      • Greenfield Red

        Thanks Old School. Really, I think we’re in basic agreement. I think the point of my entire opinion is that I don’t think the Reds ownership is really interested in winning the Series. It wants to make money… and we are the sheep who blindly follow.

      • George Hoffman Jr.

        Well take the 1990 reds after a dismal 89 season with pete getting kick out…no one predicted that the reds would go wire to wire…beat Barry bonds an the pirates in 6 games…then take on a monster A’s team with everyone expecting a 4 game sweep for the A’s…but the tables were turned on that series.. in the playoffs you can throw out the regular season its who gets hot that will prevail…Go reds……P.S……I firmly believe the wild card playoff should b a 3 game series what is this we NFL they get a 1 game playoff in every game…a 162 game season shouldn’t boil down to just a game thats just not right….

      • Cubano

        I just want to hone in on the huge disparity between your prediction and where things will end up. I’m not talking playoffs, wildcard, anything- just looking at the prediction of 65-90 and now looking at a team that has far exceeded expectations. And you still can’t quite accept what they’re doing for what it is

      • Cubano

        For the record – you pivoted from saying “this team stinks and they’re only going to win 65” to saying “hey, they’ll never compete with LA or NY, they SHOULD lose 65”.

  2. Mark Moore

    This is the stat I watch. Even a Game 163 spot is a huge accomplishment. I need to get up there for a couple September games.

  3. Votto4life

    A year ago yesterday David Bell benched Joey Votto.

    No matter what happens the rest of the year, we have been treated with one more magical season from #19.

  4. Redhaze

    Why was Marty Brennamen’s Hall of Fame ceremony held on a day when the Reds were playing on the road?

    • Jeffrey Allen Lamb

      So that they could play a softball game, I guess??

    • Doug Gray

      Total guess: So the Reds could make more money.

      It allowed them to “double dip” on ticket sales. If they held it on a game day they wouldn’t have been able to get that extra ticket revenue. Holding it while there was no Reds game meant they could have that softball game and ceremony, selling tickets to thousands of people while also not losing out on the game ticket sales for a regularly scheduled game.

      From a pure business perspective it makes a ton of sense.

      • John C.

        I believe they gave away a ticket to a future game with attendance.

  5. Klugo

    Now what are the odds we get passed a Giants/Dodgers combo?
    Still rather make it than not, though. Winning is fun.

    • Doug Gray

      In a 1-game scenario? Without knowing how the pitching match up looks? Gotta be at least 40%, right?

      • Klugo

        I’d like my chances vs the Giants in a 1 game playoff better than vs Kershaw.
        I don’t like our chances of winning 3 out 4 or 4 out of 6 from both of those teams. But I’d like to see.

      • DataDumpster

        Sure 40% is about right. With that percentage, the chances of the Reds winning a 3 game series is less than 25%. So, the WC usually does better than expected especially after a recent hot streak (with of course the obvious exception being last year’s team).

  6. LDS

    Anyone see anything on today’s roster move for Cabrera? I’m guessing Barrero since he needs to play regularly. Rather see someone else I think but they need to get on with it.

    • Jim Walker

      Looking all around and have seen nothing. Wondering if perhaps Cabrera is not yet on site.

    • Old-school

      It’s not schrock. He’s playing LF again.
      Shogo Akiyama…why is he even on the roster if he doesn’t play with Winker out against righties?

      • Jim Walker

        Sort of what has been running through my mind. They have the 40 man openings and both Inciarte and TJ Freidl to choose from at AAA in case of emergency.

    • Jim Walker

      Crickets on Reds twitter after a blurb from Bell 30 minutes ago via the beat guys that Art Warren is scheduled to start a rehab this week.

      Either Cabrera isn’t there and cleared for duty or whoever is going out is undecided or the guy hasn’t been told yet

      • Jim Walker

        Nothing on the Reds but here’s one which just came across to maybe keep an eye on. The Pirates have gone forward with DFA on Gregory Polanco. Recall he cleared waivers last week but the Pirates retained him. I’m guessing the waivers are still good and he could be outrighted or released at any time.

      • Old-school

        @Jim. Pirates are a mess. Fans were taunting him “DFA him”. Pirates averaged 8500 fans last home series. Reds have a winning window opportunity. Give Brewers credit for being good. But, Cards, Cubs and Pirates arent.

      • Jim Walker

        Barrero optioned. What a wasted two weeks.

      • Old-school

        @Jim. Pirates are a mess. Fans were taunting him “DFA him”. Pirates averaged 8500 fans last home series. Reds have a winning window opportunity. Give Brewers credit for being good. But, Cards, Cubs and Pirates arent.

      • LDS

        We knew it was coming. Bell isn’t going to hurt Farmer’s feelings by starting Barrero more than occasionally. Farmer has done remarkably well, all things considered. But he’s still less than league average and certainly not deemed the future, hopefully.

  7. Frankie Tomatoes

    Playoff odds are fun to look at but there is still a lot of baseball left. Hopefully the schedule is as easy as it says on paper but there is a reason they play the games and over my life I have seen a lot of good teams lose plenty to bad teams.

    • Jim Walker

      Tigers this time next week at GABP looked like 2 safe wins and a possible sweep with a chance for the Reds to catch their breath couple of months ago that could be very problematic now.