Happy Labor Day!
Reminder that the game today vs. the Cardinals starts at 1:10 p.m. ET and is being broadcast on the MLB Network.
• Four weeks remain in the regular season. The next ten games are in the win-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park. The home stand includes four with the Cardinals, three with the Dodgers and three with the Cubs.
• The Reds are 3.5 games behind both the Pirates and the Cardinals. In terms of the second wild card slot, the Arizona Diamondbacks are six games behind the Reds and the Washington Nationals trail the Reds by 6.5 games.
• According to various projections, the Reds’ odds of winning the division range from 5.5% (FanGraphs) to 14.1% (Baseball Prospectus). The projection by Cool Standings falls in between, at 7%. Their estimates of the Reds qualifying for one of the two wild card slots and the wild-card play in coin flip are 82% (BP), 84% (CS) and 85% (FG). You would add those two numbers together to find the total percentage chance that the Reds will be playing at least one game after September 29.
• The Reds are 15 games over .500. They were 14 games over .500 on June 1. Coincidentally, the 15-game margin comes from playing the two worst teams in the NL, the Cubs and Miami Marlins, against whom the Reds are exactly 15 games over .500. Against the rest of major league baseball they are exactly a .500 team.
• The Reds face Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn in the four-game series against the Cardinals. Wacha is the 22-year-old rookie who held the Reds scoreless for four innings after he replaced Wainwright in the Reds 10-0 win last week. The Reds have announced their starters as Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Greg Reynolds. Tony Cingrani is eligible to come off the DL on September 5, the date of the final game of the Cardinals’ series.
• Looking ahead to the Dodgers series, the Reds will likely face Zack Grienke, Clayton Kershaw and Ricky Nolasco. The Reds rotation would be Leake facing Grienke, Latos against Kershaw and Bailey vs Nolasco in Sunday night’s nationally televised game.
• Billy Hamilton will be in the Reds’ dugout today, along with new call-ups infielder Neftali Soto and catcher Corky Miller. Yesterday, three players joined the Reds in Colorado: pitcher Curtis Partch, outfielder Derrick Robinson and second baseman Henry Rodriguez. Miller’s presence as a third catcher will allow Dusty Baker to use Devin Mesoraco and Ryan Hanigan more broadly in pinch-hitting roles. Partch pitched yesterday and gave up a home run and two other hits in 1.1 innings of work. Derrick Robinson made the final out of yesterday’s game.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.