Re: the Difference between Reds and Cardinals
SOS and evaluating a team by the W/L ratio is interesting, but has difficulty translating W/L probability, as that is a much more complicated metric that either of those stats could ever dream of providing.
Pitching vs Batter matchups, overall health of team, are they in a slump or on a winning streak, are they well rested or tired, are they playing at home or away, etc etc etc. Too many times throughout many seasons in baseball, the statistically inferior teams get upsets against statistically superior teams (2011 NLDS series, 2012 NLDS series, 2013 Subway Series, etc etc etc).
So bottom line... while looking at the stats is interesting, the only reliable way to evaluate a team win probability IMHO, is to look at how each is performing at THAT particular instance in the season and stack them up.
For instance, in 2012 I would have looked at the End of May/Early June Dodgers (Leading MLB by 4 games) very differently than the End of June Dodgers (8 game losing streak)