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Thread: 2020 Playoff Push

  1. #1
    Member adkindo's Avatar
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    2020 Playoff Push

    We are in the late stretch of the 2020 NL Playoff chase with only 23 games remaining, and as has been the case in recent years, we are on the outside looking in. The difference is we are not completely out of the picture in this abbreviated season...not even close. The situation as of today is we are 2.5 games behind the 2nd place team in the Central Division and 2 games behind the 8th place team in the NL which would be the final wild card. Compared to 2019 with 23 games remaining, we were 14.5 games behind in the Central Division and 11.5 games behind the final Wild Card slot, both clearly an insurmountable deficit.

    While we remain in the playoff hunt, I have seen little signs that we are going to catch fire and chase down the Cubs (we trail Cubs by 6 Games) to win the Central and will likely need some help, or at least not have other teams get hot and go on a run. We are 6 Games under .500 which is bad, but the NL does not even have 8 teams over .500 if the playoffs started today...and only 5 teams with a record above .500.

    I am someone that likes to look out at the schedule and play with what happens if we win this game or lose that game. Most of those models usually result in me walking away realizing what is always true....we just need to win games. Still, it seems like we have mostly focused on the NL Central Division games on the schedule because they have such a direct impact on our standing within the division since a win always results in a NL Central Division foe losing. While the NL Central games do have elevated importance, I have had an eye on the two AL Central series we have late in the season against the White Sox and Twins. Both teams have been in the playoff hunt this season which could result in tougher series, but recently both teams have positioned themselves to likely get in the playoffs which is potentially good for the Reds. Ideally, both will continue to play well, and be safely in the playoffs when we play those series.

    As we know, the expanded playoff in 2020 will include the Division winners being seeded #1-#3 and the Division runner ups being seeded #4-#6 followed by the two Wild Card slots being seeded #7 & #8. Right now, it appears very likely that 5 NL teams are safe or getting close to safe of making the post season (Dodgers, Braves, Cubs, Padres Phillies) and may slot something like the following with the final 3 slots unlikely to remain the same in order or team.

    1. Dodgers
    2. Braves
    3. Cubs (Reds trail by 6 games)
    4. Padres (Reds trail by 6 games)
    5. Phillies (Reds trail by 4 games)
    6. Cardinals (Reds trail by 2.5 games)
    7. Marlins (Reds trail by 2.5 games)
    8. Rockies (Reds trail by 2 games)

    There is clutter beyond the 8 teams as currently the Giants and Brewers have a 1.5 Game lead n the Reds and the Mets have a 0.5 game lead on the Reds. I think the teams trailing the Reds are not likely in the post season picture.

    Marlins
    The most likely team to fall out of post season contention is the Marlins. They begin a 3 game series on the road today against the Rays who are the #1 AL team, followed by a 3 game road series against the NL East leading Braves who are playing their best baseball of the year, followed by 7 game home series against the Phillies who are the hottest team in baseball. It would not surprise me if the Marlins lose 9/10 of those 13 games and drift out of the post season picture.

    Cardinals
    Based on the opposition remaining on their schedule, the Cardinals appear to be in a fairly good position. The problem is not the Win/Loss records of the opponents, but the fact that the Cardinals have to fit over 30 games into a 23 day calendar. They begin a 5 game series (4 Road & 1 Home) in 4 days against the NL Central leader Cubs today. The Cardinals have 7 Double Headers scheduled over the next 23 days. I think the Cardinals are similar in quality to the Reds, but I have doubts they will be able to maintain their current position with the schedule demands to finish the season.

    Rockies
    The Rockies started the season strong due to a favorable schedule, but recently have been mediocre at best. Based on the way they have played recently and their upcoming schedule, I am confident they will slide in the standings. Today they begin a 3 game road series against the Dodgers followed by a 3 game series against the Padres who have been excellent @ home this season. A quick series against the Angels could be a break before going into a 2 game series against the AL West leading A's followed by a 4 game series against the Dodgers.

    Giants, Mets and Brewers
    The other 3 teams are situationally positioned similar to the Reds in both record and schedule remaining. Unlike the Reds, I personally think all 3 teams records are a little better than their roster and I would bet on all 3 having a record below .500 in the games remaining on each teams schedule.

    Am I bias? Yes, but I think I have been reasonably fair about our current position and opportunity to finish out the season. Personally, after digging through the quick analysis of our position, I feel far better about our current position than I did a few days ago. Currently, ESPN has our odds @ 38.3% chance at making the playoffs while the Rockies who currently hold the final playoff slot have a 34.5% chance. As always, it is as simple as winning games...and if we can get back to .500ish, I think the odds are high that we snag a postseason spot.

    23 games remaining - 09/03/2020
    NL Central 1st - -6 Games
    NL Central 2nd - -2.5 Games
    NL Final Playoff slot - -2 Games
    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

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  4. #2
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    I don't think we should be concerned with what other teams are doing until we start to consistently winning. This team just flat out sux and isn't any better than they have been over the last 5 years.i have been so disappointed over the last several years that I can't even entertain the prospects of the playoffs. Optimism is a great thing but reality drives the bus.

  5. #3
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    I'd love to be optimistic. Great team on paper. But what have I seen that would make me believe the team is going to rattle off that needed 8 game winning streak?

  6. #4
    Member RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    Win 30 and you make the playoffs. I think that's the easiest approach to take rather than thinking about all the permutations of teams. At 16-21, they have a lot of work to do.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  7. #5
    Member LexRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    We should try doing better than 3-3 against the Pirates before pretending we’re a playoff contender.

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  9. #6
    Member adkindo's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    21 games remaining - 09/04/2020 (all relevant games complete)
    NL Central 1st - -6.5 Games
    NL Central 2nd - -2 Games
    NL Final Playoff slot - -2 Games

    We split a double header and basically our position did not change, except we have 2 less games remaining to make up ground.
    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

  10. #7
    Member adkindo's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    20 games remaining - 09/05/2020 (all relevant games complete)
    NL Central 1st - -5 Games
    NL Central 2nd - -2.5 Games
    NL Final Playoff slot - -1.5 Games

    Big win against Pittsburgh today that resulted in a couple steps forward, and one step backwards. We gained 1.5 games on the NL Central leading Cubs after they went 0-2 today in a double header! The bad part is the Cardinals was their opponent and with the 2 wins, we lost 0.5 games in the chase for 2nd place in the NL Central. A Brewers loss knocked them out of the final WC spot, which allowed us to gain 0.5 game for that playoff spot. As of tonight, I doubt we can catch the Cubs in 20 games, but 2nd place in the NL Central is still on the table, and I actually like our chances at taking over the final WC slot if we can play .500 in the 6 games coming up against the Cubs and Cardinals!
    Last edited by adkindo; 09-06-2020 at 01:15 AM.
    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    Reds have played 40. Need to go 12-8 to finish.500. But that level might not do it in Central since Cubs and Cards are now both above .500.

    Games behind an important measure but harder to make up when multiple teams are ahead. To gain a game for second place, both Cards and Brewers must lose. Easier if Reds can pass one of them and take direct aim.

    Good news is that 20 remaining games plenty of time to make playoffs, but have to win consistently. Winning the remaining series at Cards and home against Brewers would especially help.

    NL wild card spots (two among third, fourth place teams) are close - competition across the divisions with several teams ahead of Reds right now, Brewers, Marlins, Rockies, Giants, tied with Mets.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-06-2020 at 10:11 AM.

  12. #9
    Member Mitri's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    Reds are still a 40% chance to make playoffs per Fangraphs. The NL Central will be an interesting race to watch. Cards have the best chance to win the #2 spot, but they have a lot of doubleheaders and may wear down over the next few weeks. Or maybe they use it to their advantage and win the division?

    Assuming the Cards are in (in some capacity), the last two spots are between Mets/Marlins, Brewers/Reds and Rockies/Giants. They all have between a 28% and 53% chance of getting in by Fangraph's metric.

    AL is basically set according to FG. Blue Jays are the last team in and they have an 84% chance. It's a tank fest over there.

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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    One further note - Reds’ two competitors Cards and Brewers play each other 10 more times. Several makeup doubleheaders.

    This is an advantage for Reds since it eliminates the possibility of wins by both teams. Reds will have ample opportunity to gain. Best thing is if the Brewers and Cards split (assuming they are relatively even when they play).
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-06-2020 at 10:23 AM.

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  15. #11
    Member adkindo's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    I know it is a reach for something positive....but if we did land in the #8 spot and played the Dodgers....I honestly would rather play the Dodgers series in their stadium compared to Great American. The Dodgers lineup is probably more dangerous in Great American that is would be in their own stadium.
    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

  16. #12
    Member LexRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    Quote Originally Posted by LexRedsFan View Post
    We should try doing better than 3-3 against the Pirates before pretending we’re a playoff contender.
    I repeat myself.

    Everyone thinks “oh cool, we have plenty of pirates games left!”

    The rest of the league feels this way about us.

    Bums.

  17. #13
    Winning the Human Race TheBigLebowski's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    Not happening.
    I'm just going to go find a cash machine.

  18. #14
    Member Crosley68's Avatar
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    This game today has done it for me. Besides not being very good, they are not fun to watch. Life is too short.
    Let's play two!!!

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  20. #15
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    Re: 2020 Playoff Push

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigLebowski View Post
    Not happening.
    With our luck, the Reds squeak in as the 8 place wild card team, then suffer a soul-crushing two game series loss. This effectively persuades management to keep the core and manager intact for 2021, because, "hey, we made the playoffs".


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