Cincinnati Reds would have made the postseason with a 12-team playoff in 2021

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) reacts after hitting a solo home run.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) reacts after hitting a solo home run. / Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Oh, what might have been. It appears that a new deal between the owners and the MLB Player's Association is on hold, but one thing the two sides have agreed upon is a new 12-team playoff format. Had this been in place last season, the Cincinnati Reds would have made it into the postseason.

While no details have emerged other than the number of team set to be involved in the new playoff format, the Reds would have grabbed the sixth and final spot in the National League. The Toronto Blue Jays would have been in the postseason as well.

The 2021 Reds would have been in the playoffs with a 12-team format.

Can you imagine what might have been with the likes of rookie sensation Jonathan India, the resurgent Joey Votto, and the clutch-hitting Nick Castellanos leading off for the Cincinnati Reds in the 2021 postseason? Sadly, we won't know the outcome.

But, if the Reds can putt together a similar season in 2022, it appears that Cincinnati would be in the playoffs. Last year, the Redlegs struggled down the stretch and were overcome by the surging St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds finished with a record of 83-79; seven games behind the Cards and one game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Who would the Reds have battled in the first-round? Well, that depends on how Major League Baseball will construct the new playoff format. Will it be a straight seeding with No. 1 playing No. 6, No. 2 playing No. 5, and No. 3 playing No. 4?

Or will the top two teams be rewarded with a first-round bye, meaning No. 3 would play No. 6 and No. 4 would play No. 5. This is similar to the NFL's playoff structure prior to the implementation of a 14-team playoff.

Had the Cincinnati Reds, who would have been the sixth-seed in last year's playoffs, played the No. 1 seed in the NL, the Redlegs would've squared off with the San Francisco Giants. We all know the recent playoff history surrounding those two teams. Had Cincinnati been matched up against the No. 3 seed, the Reds would have faced last year's World Champions, the Atlanta Braves.

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With labor talks reaching an impasse yesterday after the MLBPA rejected the owner's "best and final" offer, who knows when Opening Day will take place or who the Reds will play in the first series of the 2022 season. But, with the new 12-team playoff, the Cincinnati Reds definitely have a better shot at making the postseason.