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Full Breakdown of Reds Playoff Scenarios

Cincinnati Reds 2018 MLB Draft

The Cincinnati Reds won arguably their biggest series and game of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night. Trevor Bauer put on a legendary performance and the offense showed up. With that, they have an off day on Thursday and then a still very important series against the Minnesota Twins, who like the White Sox the previous weekend, pose a great threat to the Reds chances of making the playoffs.

There is a lot of speculation and confusion as to what exactly this team needs to do in order to make the playoffs and also what seed they would get. Here is a breakdown of every scenario depending on the Reds record by the end of the season.

NOTE: Everything in each seeding scenario is ranked by how it has to happen and importance. Also anything in italics means it has happened.

[Related: Projecting the 2021 MLB Free Agent Class]


Reds Finish 32-28 .533

In this scenario, the Reds sweep the Twins. That means they are in the playoffs.

5 Seed and 2nd in the Central

  1. St. Louis loses at least three games.
  2. Miami loses at least one of their next four.
  3. Even if Milwaukee wins all five games the Reds have the tiebreaker here.
  4. San Francisco can’t take the two seed so they don’t factor in here.
  5. Philly is not in the picture if the Reds win three this weekend, at least in terms of how the Reds finish.

6 Seed and 2nd in the Central

  1. If the Reds win all three of their games, they cannot get the six seed in any scenario.

7 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis wins at least four of their last five games.
  2. Miami finishes second or loses at least two of their next four games.
  3. San Francisco loses at least two of their next five.
  4. Milwaukee is not in this scenario because either the Cardinals or Reds have knocked them out.
  5. Philly is not in the picture if the Reds win three this weekend, at least in terms of how the Reds finish.

8 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis wins at least four of their last five games.
  2. San Francisco wins all five of their last five games.
  3. Miami or Philly finish second with the other getting knocked out.
  4. Milwaukee is out in this situation.

Reds Finish 31-29 .517

In this scenario, the Reds win two out of three against the Twins. That means they are in the playoffs.

5 Seed and 2nd in the Central

  1. St. Louis loses three to four games.
  2. Milwaukee only wins three or four.
  3. Miami loses at least one of their next four.
  4. San Francisco can’t take the two seed in the West so they don’t factor in here.
  5. Philly also does not factor in here as even if they win all three of their final games they lose the tiebreaker.

6 Seed and 2nd in the Central

  1. St. Louis loses three to four games.
  2. Milwaukee only wins three or four.
  3. Miami wins all four of their final four games.
  4. San Francisco can’t take the two seed in the West so they don’t factor in here.
  5. Philly also does not factor in here as even if they win all three of their final games they lose the tiebreaker.

7 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis wins at least three games.
  2. Milwaukee has to win all five games to get the two seed in the Central here.
  3. Miami finishes second in the East, eighth overall or doesn’t make it in this scenario due to losing the tiebreaker to Cincinnati.
  4. San Francisco loses at least two of their next five.
  5. Philly does not factor in here as even if they win all three of their final games they lose the tiebreaker.

8 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis wins at least three games.
  2. Milwaukee has to win all five games to get the two seed in the Central here.
  3. Miami finishes second in the East or doesn’t make it in this scenario.
  4. San Francisco wins at least four of their last five games.
  5. Philly does not factor in here as even if they win all three of their final games they lose the tiebreaker.

Reds Finish 30-30 .500

In this scenario, the Reds win one out of three against the Twins. They do not have an automatic bid at this point.

5 or 6 Seed and 2nd in the Central

In this scenario, the Reds cannot finish as the two seed out of the Central due to either St. Louis winning at least two games or Milwaukee winning four.

7 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis wins at least three games taking second in the Central.
  2. Milwaukee loses at least three of their final five games.
  3. Miami finishes second or loses at least three of their last four games.
  4. Philly finishes second, eighth due to a tiebreaker with the Reds or misses the playoffs.
  5. San Francisco loses at least three of their last five games.

8 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis either wins at least three to take second or get the seven seed by losing no more than four games either to Milwaukee or a combination of Milwaukee and Detroit (in this scenario they would play their last one or two games against Detroit).
  2. Milwaukee either takes second in the Central or are out in this situation.
  3. Miami either finishes in second or wins at least three of their last four games.
  4. San Francisco wins at least three of their last five games OR Philly wins all three of their last three games. Cannot be both.

Miss the Playoffs

  1. Miami either finishes in second or wins at least three of their last four games.
  2. San Francisco wins at least three of their last five AND Philly wins all three of their last three games.
  3. Cardinals and Milwaukee’s series has no effect on the Reds missing the playoffs in this scenario.
  4. New York Mets do not factor in here.

Reds Finish 29-31 .483

In this scenario, the Reds lose all three games against the Twins. they do not have an automatic bid at this point.

5 or 6 Seed and 2nd in the Central

In this scenario the Reds cannot finish as the two seed out of the Central as such they cannot get the 5 or 6 seed.

7 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis either wins at least three of their five games against Milwaukee to finish second in the Central or loses five between Milwaukee and Detroit as they would have to play one or two games against Detroit in order to make the playoffs.
  2. Milwaukee loses three or more of their final five games.
  3. Miami finishes second in the East or loses at least three of their final four games.
  4. San Francisco loses at least four of their final five games.
  5. Philly finishes second in the East or loses at least two of their final three games.
  6. New York Mets do not factor in here.

8 Seed and 3rd in the Central

  1. St. Louis finishes second in the Central, seventh overall with three wins between just Milwaukee or Milwaukee and Detroit or misses the playoffs with six or more losses in their last seven.
  2. Milwaukee loses three or more of their final five games.
  3. Miami finishes second in the East, seventh with two wins or misses the playoffs.
  4. San Francisco finishes seventh with two wins or misses the playoffs.
  5. Philly finishes second in the East, wins at least two of their final three games or misses the playoffs.
  6. New York Mets do not factor in here.

Miss the Playoffs

  1. St. Louis wins at least two games against Milwaukee or Detroit or a combination of both.
  2. Milwaukee wins at least three of their final five games.
  3. Miami wins at least two of their final four games.
  4. San Francisco wins at least two of their final five games.
  5. Philly wins two of their final three games.
  6. New York Mets do not factor in here.

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