Despite picking up a win last night and continuing to drive the thought in the public’s mind that they could make a comeback for the ages, the Washington Nationals will not be making the playoffs in 2013.
Sure, the Nationals have it in them to go 20-4 over their final 24 games, but it is unreasonable to think that the Cincinnati Reds will go 11-12 the rest of the way.
The main reason that the Reds will not blow the NL Wild Card race is their strength of schedule over the rest of the 2013 season. Out of the 23 games that the Reds have left, 12 of these remaining games come against the lowly Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets.
The Reds have posted a 25-10 record against these three teams combined, making it highly unlikely they will post anything south of a .600 winning percentage against the rest of the way going. That would be forcing the Reds to go 4-7 or worse the rest of the way, something that is not going to happen.
What also makes the Reds a lock to play above-average baseball the rest of the way is that they have one of the most consistent starting rotations in MLB.
Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake have all posted a winning record during a season that has consisted of 27 starts or more, combining to post a 48-31 record. With a 13-6 record since August 1, it appears that the group may actually be getting even better as the season goes on, making it even more of a stretch to imagine them suddenly becoming below average.
So for all the Nationals fans out there hoping that their team can post a .833 winning percentage the rest of the way, what I say is that not even a run that fantastic would be enough to top the Reds and get the second NL Wild Card berth.