Now that we know which five National League teams are in the playoffs, I decided to update a table I shared a few months ago that shows how the playoff teams performed against .500+ teams. The designation of whether an opponent was .500 & above or below .500 is based on each opponents end-of-season record, not their record at the time the two teams played. So, in this exercise, Arizona and Philadelphia are both in the “.500+” opponent category because each team finished with a record of exactly .500.

The teams below are sorted by their playoff seed.

Team Against .500+ Wpct Versus Sub-.500 Wpct
WAS 48-40 0.545 50-24 0.676
CIN 40-36 0.526 57-29 0.663
SFG 44-42 0.512 50-26 0.658
ATL 45-41 0.523 49-27 0.645
STL 39-40 0.494 49-34 0.590

All of these teams have made their season by beating up on the weaker teams, and playing at least .500 baseball (or nearly .500 baseball) against the better teams.

The Nationals played the most games against .500+ teams and had the best record against them. The Reds played the fewest games against .500+ teams, but they did have the second best winning percentage.

I further narrowed the focus to the teams who made the playoffs. Looking at head-to-head matchups against other playoff teams, the Reds roughest opponent was the Washington Nationals. The Nationals beat the Reds in 5 of those 7 contests, though outscored them by just 4 runs. The full list of the Reds regular season record against 2012 playoff teams:

Reds’ Opponent W L RS RA
ATL 5 1 21 15
DET 1 2 14 15
NYY 2 1 11 11
SFG 4 3 28 21
STL 7 8 46 60
WSN 2 5 25 29

Looking at the records of all the National League Playoff teams, the Reds and the Nationals are the only two teams to have winning records over opponents who are currently in the playoffs.

Team Vs Playoff Opp RS/G RA/G Wpct
WAS 26-21 4.8 4.0 0.553
CIN 21-20 3.5 3.7 0.512
SFG 16-19 4.1 4.6 0.457
ATL 20-26 3.8 4.5 0.435
STL 16-21 4.4 4.5 0.432

The Reds have the lowest number of runs scored per game against playoff teams but have also held playoff opponents to the lowest run totals allowed.

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for this Greg, very interesting. Not surprising that the Nats look so good, they did win the most games. They’re very solid. I’d like to see Reds-Nats in the NLCS.

    In terms of the Reds head-to-head with the Nats, those games were all early in the season, close (as you say), and before the Reds had their bullpen figured out.

  2. Yes, they were close. Three of them went extra innings. The Reds never faced Strasburg. But then, Washington didn’t face Cueto either. In the 7 games vs Washington, Latos started twice (each team losses by one run) and Arroyo-Bailey-Leake got the other 5 starts.

  3. One of the other take aways from these stats is that there is no one dominant team in the NL this year. Nothing like the Phillies of the past few years, or even the Giants 2010 pitching. The NL side of the postseason bracket is more wide open than I can ever remember.

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2012 Postseason, 2012 Reds