Okay, okay, I'm no Jim Mora, and the fact is, October is here. The Fall Classic is just weeks away, and the Cincinnati Reds have a chance to get there. With two games left in the season, though, the exact path to the World Series is unclear. The Nationals and Reds are currently tied for the best record in baseball, fighting for that number one spot.
So here's the breakdown: Cincy at St. Louis tonight and tomorrow, Washington home versus Philadelphia same days. Both are 96-64, but the Nats are 5-2 against the Redlegs, breaking the tie. The following outcomes over the next two days....
1. Reds win 2, Nats win 2
2. Reds win 1, Nats win 1
3. Reds win 0, Nats win 0
4. Reds win 1, Nats win 2
5. Reds win 0, Nats win 2
6. Reds win 0, Nats win 1....
The Reds would travel to San Francisco to play the No. 3 seeded, NL West Champion Giants for two games, Oct. 6-7. The next game will be at Great American Ballpark on Oct. 8, as will the following two should they be needed (series is best of five).
Or, the following outcomes.....
1. Reds win 2, Nats win 1
2. Reds win 2, Nats win 0
3. Reds win 1, Nats win 0
would produce a playoff bracket like this, with the Cincinnati Reds owning the best record in all of MLB:
If this turns out to be the case, the Reds will have to wait until after the Oct. 5 wildcard game to see who their opponent is, then fly to their city. They would then play two games at host Atlanta/St. Louis, then fly back for the third game in Cincinnati, as well as the last two, should they be required (again, best of five series). The major benefit of owning the best record would be, in theory, that the wildcard team they're facing will have already thrown their ace two days beforehand.
Whatever the case, the Reds will not be starting their playoff run at home. Whether this will benefit/harm them is questionable, but keep in mind the Reds are 46-31 on the road this season (second best in MLB, Washington is first).