After losing to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday evening, the Cincinnati Reds find themselves in a precarious position. Losers of four straight following the All-Star Break, the Reds sit 3.5 games out of first place in the NL Central division. At 51-48 on the season, the team finds their season at a crossroads, easily able to break one way or another.
As they have shown over the course of the last three weeks, they are just as capable of winning 10 games in a row are as they are losing as many.
Despite the reasoning for their play, the Reds must find a way to get back on track before they find themselves in the cellar of the division (they are already in fourth place). With their next five games coming against the Brewers and fellow division leaders Washington Nationals, the Reds face a must-win scenario to avoid falling out of striking distance of the playoffs.
In August, the Reds will face just four teams with a winning record. And while that sounds like a great way to make up ground in the division, the Reds have a record of just 22-20 against teams playing under .500 baseball on the season. If you are a team looking to reach the playoffs and your record against the San Diego Padres on the season is a paltry 1-5, you might have an issue or two.
The MLB season is an arduous one, and while a handful of games cannot be directly attributed to a successful or unsuccessful season, it can go a long way into determining the outcome of a season. There are still two months left in the season and crazy things could happen, but mark my words: the outcome of the next five games will be indicative of how the 2014 season ends for the Cincinnati Reds.