With the three-way fight among the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates for the National League Central title entering its final three weeks, we can gain some feeling for how the season may finish based on play to date.
In the following analysis, first shared by Marilyn Green on The Cardinal Nation message board, we look at how each team has done against the others as well as versus their remaining opponents this season.
By Marilyn Green
The Reds against the Pirates are 2-4 in PNC Park and 4-3 at home.
The Reds against the Brewers are 3-4 at Miller Park and 6-3 at home.
The Reds against the Cubs are 9-1 at Wrigley Field and 4-2 at home.
So, the Reds play the Cubs this week at home where they are still ahead, but do not play as well as they have at Wrigley. They play the Brewers next at Miller Park, where they have a losing record. They play the Pirates twice, one series at home and one series at PNC Park. The final series is at home. The Reds also play the Astros at Minute Maid Park, whom they have not played this season. Finally, they play the Mets at home. They swept the Mets in May at Citi Field.
The Pirates are 4-2 against the Reds at PNC Park and 3-4 at GABP. They play a four-game series against the Cubs at home where their record is 4-2 and a three-game series at Wrigley, where their record is 3-3. Finally, they play the Padres for four games at home. They were 1-2 against the Padres in August at Petco Park. They are currently playing the Rangers, who they haven’t played this season.
Total series records so far:
Reds v. Pirates 6-7 in favor of Pirates
Reds v. Brewers 9-7 in favor of Reds
Reds v. Cubs 13-3 in favor of Reds
Reds v. Mets 3-0 in favor of Reds
Pirates v. Reds 7-6 in favor of Pirates
Pirates v. Cubs 7-5 in favor of Pirates
Pirates v. Padres 1-2 in favor of Padres
Cardinals v. Brewers are 4-2 at Busch and 6-1 at Miller Park
Cardinals v. Rockies are 3-0 at Busch
Cardinals v. Nats are 3-0 at Nationals Park
Cardinals v. Cubs are 3-4 at Busch and 5-4 at Wrigley
No record against Mariners this season.
Total series records so far:
Cardinals v. Brewers 10-3 in favor of Cardinals
Cardinals v. Rockies 2-1 in favor of Cardinals
Cardinals v. Nats 3-0 in favor of Cardinals
Cardinals v. Cubs 8-8 tie
Based on season records:
Reds v. Cubs–advantage Reds
Reds v. Brewers at Miller Park–advantage Brewers
Reds v. Pirates at PNC Park–advantage Pirates
Reds v. Pirates at GABP–advantage Reds
Reds v. Mets–advantage Reds
Reds v. Astros–no record but give advantage to Reds
Pirates v. Rangers at Arlington–no record but give advantage to Rangers
Pirates v.Cubs at PNC Park–advantage Pirates
Pirates v. Cubs at Wrigley–toss up
Pirates Padres at PNC Park–advantage Pirates
Pirates v. Reds at PNC park–advantage Pirates
Pirates v. Reds at GABP–advantage Reds
Cardinals v. Brewers at Busch–advantage Cardinals
Cardinals v. Brewers at Miller Park–advantage Cardinals
Cardinals v. Mariners at Busch–no record but advantage Cardinals
Cardinals v. Rockies at Coors Field–toss up to slight advantage Cardinals
Cardinals v. Nats at Busch–advantage Cardinals
Cardinals v. Cubs at Busch–toss up to slight advantage Cubs
Obviously the best case scenario is for the Cards to win the Division to avoid the one game playoff. In the case of the NLDS, it is a toss up between the Braves or the Dodgers—St. Louis has losing records against both so they would not get home field advantage. In the unlikely event that the Dodgers have a complete collapse and the D-Backs win, it would be the same, as the Cards have a losing record against them as well.
The worst case scenario is playing the Wild Card game against the Pirates. St. Louis would play at PNC Park, where they have a terrible record. They are better off playing the Reds in the Wild Card, because the game would be at Busch, where the Cards have dominated them.