There are some folks throughout Reds Country who've already buried their favorite team with eight games remaining in the 2023 season. And while it's sure to be an uphill battle, the Cincinnati Reds are not dead yet.
After Wednesday's gut-wrenching loss to the Minnesota Twins, the Reds dropped 1.5 games back of the final NL Wild Card sport. But thanks to the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets, that deficit was trimmed to just a half-game by the end of play on Thursday.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have begun to distance themselves, but there's still one more spot in the NL Wild Card up for grabs. With eight games left, why should Reds fans be optimistic?
1. The Reds have 5 of their final 8 games on the road.
Wait, I thought we were talking about reasons for optimism. Wouldn't playing five of your final eight games on the road be a bad thing? Well, for most teams, yes. However, the Cincinnati Reds have fared better on the road than they have at home.
This season, the Reds are 42-34 on the road and 37-41 at home. The Reds host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park beginning on Friday, then go on the road to Cleveland for two games against the Guardians. Cincinnati will finish the 2023 season with three games on the road at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Thankfully of the Reds, as bad as they've been at home this season, the Pirates have been equally as bad on the road. Pittsburgh is 33-41 away from PNC Park this season. Cincinnati is 4-6 against Pittsburgh this season.
If the Reds can take at least two of three from the Bucs at home before heading on the road, they'd have to feel pretty good about their chances. But, it would behoove the Redlegs to get that elusive three-game sweep and secure a winning-record before leaving the Queen City on Sunday.