The Cincinnati Reds are 77-72, smashing any and all expectations and prognostications from before the season began. The club was coming off of a 100-loss season and did next to nothing in the offseason to add. Instead, the plan seemed to be a bit of a wait-and-see approach with how the upper minor leaguers performed and go from there. It wasn’t long until those guys began to appear and make a difference.
Last night saw the Reds take game one of a 3-game series in New York against the Mets. Meet the Mets, greet the Mets, come on out and beat the Mets. I think that’s how the song goes.
The victory, combined with the rest of the outcomes around Major League Baseball on the day, put the Cincinnati Reds into a tie for the final wild card spot with Arizona, a half-game up on Miami, and a full game up on San Francisco. The Reds own the tie-breaker over Arizona if the two teams wind up being tied at the end of the season. Cincinnati does not have the tie-breaker over the Marlins or the Giants.
Cincinnati has 13 games remaining, with the regular season coming to an end on October 1st against the St. Louis Cardinals. After finishing up their series with the Mets, the Reds host the Twins and Pirates in a set of 3-game series before traveling to Cleveland for a 2-game set. They’ll then close out the year in St. Louis with three games.
While it doesn’t feel like 13 games is a lot – and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not – there’s still plenty of baseball left to be played. But every game matters more each day because there’s less time to make up for a loss.
As the games begin today, Fangraphs has the Reds with a 32.3% chance of making the playoffs. That is fourth best among the wild card teams. Philadelphia, who is 80-67, has the best odds at 98.4%. The Cubs, who are 1.5 games up on the Reds and Diamondbacks, have a 72.9% chance. Arizona, despite not having the tie-breaker with Cincinnati, has better odds – coming in at 37.1%. San Francisco is at 31.3% and Miami is at 27.9%. Essentially, the odds say that Arizona, Cincinnati, Miami, and San Francisco are all around that one-in-three odds range of grabbing a spot.