At a mere two games over .500 with a 43-41 record, the Cincinnati Reds will get one more chance before the All-Star break to demonstrate that they are still a better and more talented team than most of their NL Central rivals.
Head-to-head, the Reds have shown these three teams that they just don’t match up well with them. Collectively, the Reds are 17-8 against the three teams this year (5-2 vs. the Brewers, 5-3 vs. the Cubs and 7-3 against the Pirates).
Yet, the Reds have fallen back to fourth place in the NL Central after a 6-4 road trip turned sour when the Reds were swept in the last series by the lowly San Diego Padres, who have now somehow beaten the Reds five out of six games this year.
Despite their inexplicable lack of success against the Padres, the Reds do have another chance to redeem themselves in a first half of a season filled with numerous opportunities for redemption.
If the Reds hold true to the success they’ve had this year against the trio of division rivals in the Brewers, Cubs and Pirates, they’ll win eight of the upcoming games, which would put them seven games over .500 with a 51-44 record.
Anything less than that would put the Reds in an even more unenviable position to try to climb their way out of fourth place in the division. But with the division title still in sight and a Wild Card berth still most definitely a possibility, the Reds nevertheless find themselves in a position to prove they can be an elite team in the league despite all of the stumbles they’ve had over the past two seasons.