2 scenarios that keep the Reds' playoff hopes alive and 1 scenario that ends their season

The clock is about to strike midnight, but the Cincinnati Reds still have a chance.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Fernando Cruz
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Fernando Cruz / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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While Cinderella's carriage hasn't turned back into a pumpkin quite yet, it's getting close to midnight and the magic has almost run out.

The Cincinnati Reds lost a game that they almost had to have on Wednesday night against the Cleveland Guardians. Despite another terrific effort on the part of the Reds bullpen, David Bell's team fell by a final score of 4-3.

Last night's loss put the season on the brink, but thanks to the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves, there are still two scenarios that would allow Cincinnati to make the MLB Playoffs. But another scenario will send them home.

The Reds make the MLB Playoffs if they sweep the Cardinals and get help

So, how can the Cincinnati Reds make the MLB Playoffs? Well, they can start by winning all three games on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals. In fact, by the time that the Reds take the field on Friday night in St. Louis, this may be the only way for the Reds to make it to the postseason.

The Reds get another off-day on Thursday as they travel to the Gateway City for the final three games of the 2023 season. As the standing currently sit at the moment, the Cincinnati Reds trail the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs by 1.5 games.

But, with both the Marlins and Cubs in action on Thursday night, that number could go up or down before Cincinnati is back at it on Friday night. The Marlins visit Citi Field at 7:10 PM ET to battle the New York Mets, and the Cubs will begin their series finale against the Atlanta Braves at 7:20 PM ET.

If both teams lose on Thursday night, the road to the MLB Playoffs becomes very much a reality for the Cincinnati Reds. If the Reds sweep the Cardinals, the Marlins go 1-3, and the Cubs go 2-2 or worse, then Cincinnati would play the Milwaukee Brewers in thew Wild Card Series next week.

W/L Record: Reds 3-0, Marlins 1-3, Cubs 2-2 or worse