Reds vs. Twins: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins talks with Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins talks with Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Eugenio Suarez #7, Max Schrock #32, Kyle Farmer #17, and Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 01: (L-R) Eugenio Suarez #7, Max Schrock #32, Kyle Farmer #17, and Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

As the schedule turns to August, the Cincinnati Reds are in playoff contention.

Reds Country, it’s go time! Posting a National League-best 16-9 mark in July, the Cincinnati Reds (56-50) are in a battle not only for the NL Central Division crown but a Wild Card spot as well.  Fortunately, the schedule makers have done Cincinnati a huge favor this month.

Opportunities abound for the Redlegs to significantly add to their win column before entering September. Only six of the club’s remaining 28 games in August are against teams with winning records, and three of those are versus the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals, who are each just a game above the .500 mark.

Cincinnati will play 11 contests against last-place teams plus three at home versus a heavily depleted Chicago Cubs ballclub. So there’s absolutely no reason for the Reds to enter the final month of the season without a genuine chance of making their second consecutive playoff appearance.

Last week, the Reds took care of business on the road, winning five of seven versus the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. Poor Javier Baez. The former Cub and current Met was on the losing end for each of those five contests. You just hate to see it.

As for the Minnesota Twins (44-62), the season’s final two months will most likely result in plenty of defeats for the American League Central cellar dwellers. Before the trade deadline, the Twins dealt their best starting pitcher, Jose Berrios, and top slugger Nelson Cruz to contending clubs as the rebuild gets underway in the Twin Cities.

The Reds and Twins split a two-game series in Minneapolis in June. Cincinnati holds a slim 15-14 advantage all-time between the two clubs, with the Redlegs sporting an impressive 8-4 in the Queen City versus the Twins.