The Cincinnati Reds are just a half-game back of the final NL Wild Card spot and actually saw their playoff odds increase on Thursday evening after the Chicago Cubs took one on chin against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates led the game by just one run in the ninth inning, but a three-run blast by Joshua Palacios helped Pittsburgh survive a late rally from the North Siders. The Bucs won 8-6.
That loss, was the Cubs' 10th in their last 13 games. That one game helped tilt the odds toward the Reds and has really hurt the Cubbies chances with a little over a week left in the 2023 season.
Reds playoff odds increase without playing a game.
According to Baseball Reference, the Cincinnati Reds playoff odds increased nearly eight-percent on Thursday despite having an off-day. Cincinnati's odds of making the postseason now stand at 31.1-percent.
The Cubs, however, still sit slightly above the Reds with a 41.8-percent chance to snag a playoff berth. The Miami Marlins, who were also idle on Thursday, have a 38-percent chance of securing the final spot in the NL Wild Card.
In a rather stunning revelation, the San Diego Padres, who everyone left for dead, have risen from the ashes and now own the same playoff odds as the San Francisco Giants. Both ball clubs now sit with a 0.7-percent chance to make the playoffs.
FanGraphs is in agreement when it come to the playoff odds of the Giants, Padres, and Reds, but has the Marlins with a better opportunity to make a run at the NL Wild Card than the Cubs.
The Cincinnati Reds begin a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. The Reds, Cubs, and Marlins each have 79 wins. Cincinnati cannot afford to lose ground this weekend, and at the very least, must take 2-of-3 from the Buccos to remain in contention.