The Reds return home as they welcome an excellent Dodgers squad to town.
Let’s give the Cincinnati Reds (76-71) some credit. They’re nothing if not consistent these days. Unfortunately, Cincinnati returns to Great American Ball Park for their final homestand of the 2021 season following a devastating seventh consecutive series defeat; the latest to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.
To say the Reds’ playoff aspirations have been severely damaged over the past four weeks is a massive understatement. As a result of the Reds and San Diego Padres seemingly attempting to one-up each other in the loss column, a new and bitter development has occurred.
The division rival St. Louis Cardinals have taken advantage of the reeling Redlegs and floundering Friars and seized the lead for the final National League Wild Card berth. Winners of five consecutive contests, the Redbirds hold a half-game advantage over the Padres and are a full game clear of the Reds in the standings.
There’s no easy way to say it, but Cincinnati is entirely responsible for the conundrum they find themselves in. After dropping 14 of the last 21 games, the oddsmakers at Baseball-Reference are leaping from the Reds bandwagon in droves, giving them just a 33.2% chance of qualifying for the postseason.
This weekend’s opponent is not having the same issues as the Reds. The Los Angeles Dodgers (94-53) enter the Queen City winners of eight of their last 10 and 23 of their previous 30 contests. Having already clinched their ninth consecutive playoff appearance earlier this week, the Dodgers currently trail the San Francisco Giants by just one game in a heated NL West division battle.
Over the last decade, LA has owned Cincinnati, sporting a 35-21 record. Since 2014 the Reds have taken the season series only once. However, after taking two of three from the Dodgers in April at Chavez Ravine, the Redlegs can end years of frustration with two victories this weekend.