The Reds are in the playoffs, which is more than we could have hoped for before the season started. Once again, congratulations on a great season to the Reds.
But what now? Worst case scenario is we draw the Phillies, who already have home field advantage. That would mean Wednesday and Thursday nights in Philadelphia with the Reds back in Cincy on Sunday night. There's a real possibility Sunday night's game would be an elimination game. (The Cards won the division last year and were swept in the division series with only one game, game three, at home.)
So how do we avoid this scenario? Here you go: The Reds sweep the Brewers and end up with 92 wins. The Padres sweep the Giants and they both end up with 91 wins. (If the Giants win one, the Padres are out, and the Giants hold the tie-breaker, 4-3 head-to-head, against the Reds for the second seed.) If that happened, the Giants and Padres would play once more for the West division, but the Reds would get the second seed (by virtue of the half game advantage over the winner, who would be 92-71 versus the Reds' 92-70). The loser would be out for the wild card, if the Braves win one more game. If the Braves get swept, then SD and SF would use a tie-breaker to determine the division winner/wild card, and because each of them would be 91-71, the Reds would get the second seed. The Phils would play the wild card, and the Reds (with home field advantage) would play the division winner.
So, we need the Reds, Padres, and Phillies to sweep this weekend to avoid the Phillies in the NLDS.
Another scenario, the Padres lose the division to the Giants, but grab the wild card from the Braves (right now, they're two back). This would put the Phillies against the Padres, and the Reds would play the Giants (without home field advantage) regardless of what the Reds do this weekend. For that to happen, the Padres would have to win two of three and the Braves would have to get swept, leading to a tie for the wild card and a one-game playoff, which the Padres would have to win.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
4 weeks ago