Cincinnati Reds: Where they stand in playoff race

Joey Votto interview (Sept. 14)

Reds improve odds with doubleheader sweep

In two days days, the Cincinnati Reds improved their playoff odds by more than 20 percentage points.

The Reds' postseason chances stood at 17.1 percent on Saturday after a 7-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Since then, they have won three games in two days. A doubleheader sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday at Great American Ball Park increased the Reds' chances to 37.5 percent, according to FanGraphs.com.

Eight of the 15 teams qualify for the expanded playoffs in the 60-game season. The Reds (23-26) have two ways of doing so. They can finish second in the National League Central Division. They trail the second-place Cardinals (21-21) by 1½ games. The Reds have 11 games remaining. The Cardinals have 18 games left. The Chicago Cubs (28-20) lead the division by four games.

ExploreHAL McCOY: Reds making playoff push

The Reds have an 11.1 percent chance of finishing second in the Central, according to FanGraphs.com.

The Reds also can advance to the postseason by having one of the best two records in the National League outside of the six teams that advance by finishing first or second in their divisions. The Reds would be the first team left out at this point. They’re one game back of the San Francisco Giants (23-24) and 1½ games behind the Philadelphia Phillies (23-23).

The Reds have a 26.1 percent chance of winning one of the two wild cards.

While the Reds are in the middle of the race, what hurts their chances is the schedule ahead. They play three games at home, starting Friday, against the Chicago White Sox (31-16), who have the second-best record in baseball behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (33-15). The Reds also close the season with a three-game series on the road against the Minnesota Twins (30-19), one of six teams in baseball with 30 or more victories.

The Reds and Pirates continue their four-game series at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday in Cincinnati.

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