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).
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.