The Cincinnati Reds aren’t exactly playing their best baseball lately. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games. They’ve fallen to 10 games back of Milwaukee, essentially eliminating any unrealistic fantasy that they could have had to make a run at the division. The wild card, though, has somehow remained in their grasp thanks to the fact that despite their recent woes no one that’s chasing them has gone on a run.San Diego is also 3-7 over their last 10 games. The Phillies and Cardinals had ground to make up, and they have a little bit as both have gone 6-4 in their last 10 – but they had a lot of ground to try and make up and are still 1.5 and 2.0 games back of the Reds for the final wild card spot.

This morning Fangraphs puts the Reds playoff odds at 52.3%. That’s basically a coin flip. But it’s also significantly better odds than anyone that is chasing them, too. Philadelphia has the next best odds among those teams behind the Reds and they are down at 31.2%. Here’s what the current second wild card race looks like (the first spot is going to the loser of the NL West, who has a 13.5 game lead over the Reds (and thus larger over everyone else).

Team W L GB Playoff %
Reds 72 64 0.0 52.3%
Padres 71 64 0.5 23.8%
Cardinals 69 64 1.5 9.6%
Phillies 69 65 2.0 31.2%
Mets 67 67 4.0 11.4%

When you look at the playoff % column you will see that despite being behind both the Padres and the Cardinals, the Phillies actually have the second best playoff chances. A large part of that is because they have decent odds of still winning their division (24.5%), but only a 6.7% chance of winning the wild card. What comes into play with a lot of these odds is the projected record moving forward. That of course is based on how each team has played up to this point, the current health of their team, projected playing time of the current players on the roster, and of course, their strength of schedule that remains.

The Reds continue to have the easiest remaining schedule in baseball. There are still nine games remaining against the 48-87 Pittsburgh Pirates. But the games are played for a reason. And Cincinnati is still going to need to go out and win plenty of baseball games if they are going to get a chance to play beyond the regular season.

Along with the playoff odds given, Fangraphs is also projecting the record of each team on the year. The Reds are projected to finish 86-76. That would put them two games ahead of anyone else vying for the wild card spot, with both the Padres and Phillies projected to finish at 84-78.

For Cincinnati to get to 86 wins, though, they would need to go 14-12 the rest of the way. The Reds have two games left against the Tigers this weekend. Then they get the Cubs for three, the Cardinals for three, the Pirates nine times in the last three weeks – including the final series of the year, the Dodgers for three, the Nationals for four, and the White Sox for two. There are some bad teams in there and a lot of wins to be had if the team can get out of their current funk.

28 Responses

  1. Frankie Tomatoes

    The schedule favors them but even bad teams win plenty of games in baseball. Time to right the ship and get back in the right direction. They are heading towards the iceberg but there is still time to avoid it but that time is running out.

  2. Indy Red Man

    U-G-L-Y they ain’t got no alibi. That was ugly. I was watching at the sportsbook and it looked like the Tigers knew what was coming. Not a good time to play their worst baseball of the season.

  3. RedsMonk65

    Yep. Just win and everything else takes care of itself. The Reds are obviously not doing a lot of that lately, and the Phillies and Cardinals are just a little too close for comfort. There is time…but not much… for this flawed yet talented team. Hopefully tonight’s the night the funk is junked and we get on a roll.

    Go Reds!

  4. Arthur

    Reds are being owned by almost every left-handed starter they face. Love to see Winker back soon, but he isn’t going to fix that problem. The offense needs to find a way to score runs against left-handed pitchers. Simple as that. Until they do, they will face every lefty opposing teams can run out there, and they will continue to lose. And you can bet your paycheck that, if they get to game 163, the opposition is going to start a left-handed pitcher.

  5. CI3J

    I wrote this comment August 22, before the Reds began this 12 game stretch against the Brewers, Marlins, Cardinals, and Tigers:

    These next 12 games are the last really tough stretch of the Reds’ schedule. First 3 against the Brewers in Milwaukee, then 3 against the Fish in the soup of Miami weather with no off day in between. Then back to Cincy to take on a suddenly dangerous Cards team followed by 3 against the sneaky-good Tigers.

    Then they have a relatively easy September with 16 games against the hapless Pirates, Nats, and Cubs, with only 8 tough games against the Cards, Dodgers, and White Sox.

    By way of contrast, the Friars have an extremely brutal September, with every single game being against a contender (except 2 against the Angels) including 13 games away at the Giants and Dodgers.

    Point is, if the Reds can come out of these next 12 games and still be 10 games over .500 or better, then the Wild Card should be theirs for the taking. If they are 3 games or fewer behind the Friars on the morning of September 7th, then I like the Reds chances very much.

    Well, for the Reds to get back to 10 over .500, they have to win these next 2. But because the Padres have also played such terrible baseball, the Reds are still in a pretty good position. The Reds have beat bad teams all year, there’s no reason that trend can’t continue in their 16 remaining games against the Pirates, Cubs, and Nats. I expect at least a 10-6 record in those games, with 12-4 also being a possibility.

    If they can play .500 in their 8 games against the Dodgers, Cards, and White Sox, that would mean the Reds should go something like 14-10 to 16-8 over the rest of September. Depending on how these last 2 games against the Tigers go, the Reds are on target to finish with somewhere between 86 and 90 wins, unless they completely collapse or go on an amazing run.

    I agree, their destiny is in their hands. But I think they will finish better than what Fangraphs projects.

    Play ball.

  6. LDS

    Another lefty tonight isn’t encouraging. Mahle at home hasn’t been anything to write about (positively, at least). They aren’t playing well generally. Collectively, they can’t hit lefties. The good guys in the bullpen have imploded. I’d like to see a better lineup tonight but I’m not betting on it. But I’d bet on Votto/Suarez at 4-5 again. Personally, I’d rather see Lopez and Schrock start. Moose, Suarez, and Votto on the bench with Stephenson at 1st and Barnhart catching. Alas, it’s not the Bell way.

    • Arthur

      How about Cabrera at 1B, and Stephenson behind the plate? Probably need to play DeShields in CF, and hope that someone other than Aristides “hitting .103 in my last 15 games” Aquino plays in LF.

      • LDS

        That works. Stick Schrock in LF and Lopez at 3rd. Forgot that Cabrera was alleged acquired to face lefties.

      • Redsvol

        We need to Joey, Moose, and Aquino out of the lineup for a few days. They just seem to be playing old man ball lately. I’d like to see how Cabrera Shrock, and Suarez do for a few games. Pitching was obviously the problem last night but overall the offense seems very stagnant the last 3 series.

      • greenmtred

        I haven’t read the game recap yet, but I assume that I’ll find people celebrating Aquino’s important home run?

  7. Mark Moore

    The stats and predictions are just that … but they are pretty accurate, especially this late in the season. We have to find ways to win ball games as everybody else said. One by one. Series by series. And we’ve got to be more patient and consistent against the LHSP’s while playing solid D (things we really didn’t do last night).

  8. Roger Garrett

    Just to many issues for me right now.No reason to believe they can flip the switch and these issues go away.Guys are tired and beat up and hurt that have carried this team offensively all year long.Players that haven’t performed still aren’t performing.Older players look like older players and they are playing teams that are loose and have nothing to lose.Pressure to win is all on the Reds and they really don’t know how to win.Now if you tell me we are going to get Joey some rest the next 2 days,set Moose until he is ready to play,bring Barrero up and hand him the keys to short,play Schrock in left until Wink returns,then he and Farmer platoon at third after that,use Farmer to give India a break or two along the way and DFA Cabrera and De Shields,start TY Steve 20 of the last 26 games then I might change my mind.Reds have got all they can get out of these lineups and roster.Nothing left for them to give.These moves bring younger players that are just better and puts a better lineup offensively and defensively on the field.

  9. Kevin H

    Not a analytics guy or war. I know the shift seems to work at times and stuff like that. To me this whole left handed/right handed line up for the birds. Play your best 8 and see what happens. Aqunio and shogo should not play period. Having see Aquino play he is a liability in outfield and strikes out too much.

    I don’t pretend to be a manager, however when in a playoff race, your best 8 should play no matter.. This isn’t a time to continually flip flop the line up. Then panic and pitch hit people etc etc

  10. LDS

    Lineup is out – same as yesterday I think. Bell just isn’t serious about playing his best and winning the WC. Or he doesn’t know how. Last night’s writeup used the picture of Sparky’s statue. Boy, the Reds could sure use someone like Sparky.

    • greenmtred

      Of course that lineup won the game, LDS. Sparky’s players would have made a big difference, certainly. Sparky himself wasn’t much of a hitter or pitcher.

      • LDS

        But he was a terrific manager. Take his record away from the Reds history and they have a net losing record.

  11. Ron

    Pitching will be the key the rest of the season. The Reds have struggled to score runs lately, but I think they can produce enough offense to win IF the pitching holds up.
    The Cardinals worry me more than the Padres or Phillies. I think the Reds are better than all of them, but they have to take their game up another notch. It’s crunch time.

  12. SultanofSwaff

    Well however this shakes out it’s been a pretty fun season. Just being relevant the entire season is refreshing despite the frustrations.

    • Arthur

      Pretty good way to describe the team right there – relevant, despite the frustrations.

      Worst part about the frustrations is that so many of them are self-imposed. Like shooting yourself in the foot, over and over again.

  13. burtgummer01

    1. Jonathan India (R) 2B
    2. Tyler Stephenson (R) C
    3. Nick Castellanos (R) RF
    4. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    5. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    6. Kyle Farmer (R) SS
    7. Aristides Aquino (R) LF
    8. Delino DeShields (R) CF
    9. Tyler Mahle (R) P

    • RedAlert

      Aquino in lineup again – unfreaking believable ; Naquin should be playing regardless of lefty or righty on mound ;MAKES NO COMMON SENSE DAVID BELL !!!Aquino couldn’t hit ball in Atlantic Ocean if he was standing on the shoreline .
      Bell is gonna manage this group right out of the wildcard race …

      • LDS

        Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome

  14. Mark A Verticchio

    I think they should give Giuti one more start and if things bad either skip his next start or if it’s a home game bring up Greene to fill the seats and put some excitement in the air, they need that bad.

  15. Arthur

    Asdrubal Cabrera was brought to this club specifically because, in his career and even earlier this year, hit well vs left-handed pitchers. The Reds offense gets handcuffed by every lefty they face – even poor ones. (Remember that Marlins starter with an ERA over 7.00?? Reds made him look like Steve Carlton.).

    Detroit starting another lefty tonight. Cabrera is riding the pine.

    Anyone have an explanation for this?

    • Jim Walker

      Bell chooses to sit neither Suárez nor Votto. Suárez actually looks like he may be coming around a bit. I can understand leaving him in. JV is struggling mightily. Sometimes the way to get the most out of a guy in the long run, is to sit him a day, even if he says he doesn’t need the day off.

    • TR

      I have no knowledge the Reds are any different than any other team but they seem to like bringing up a player for a game or two and then bench him, or bring him up and he rides the bench. Asdrubal Cabrera was brought in since he apparently hits lefties. In a tight race, now seems the time to play him.

  16. Roger Garrett

    I have always thought and its just my thought that Bob has a voice as does Krall and Bell does as well as to who plays.Again I have no evidence at all but its the only explanation as to why guys come up and don’t play as Barrero and now Cabrera and guys like De Shields do.Its almost like how politics use to be in that I will give you this if you will give me that.Once that happens then Bell finishes the lineup out.What I hope happens next year is that all 3 get on the same page and say the best players play.Reds brass wants to win but it has to be playing the guys they want to play.Its a power struggle and nothing else and has very little to do with a players performance for the most part