The San Diego Padres should be grateful with where they currently sit. They once had a substantial lead for the second wild card spot before losing 13 of 16 games from August 11 to August 28. Oh, and a majority of those losses came against non-contending teams such as the Miami Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Colorado Rockies.
Despite their recent slide, the Padres are still firmly in the picture for the second wild card spot with the Cincinnati Reds (and St. Louis Cardinals, to a degree). The only problem is San Diego could see themselves slip down the standings based on Cincinnati’s schedule compared to theirs.
Cincinnati Reds Remaining Schedule
Here are the remaining games for the Reds (entering Wednesday, September 1):
- September 1 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals (doubleheader)
- September 3-5 vs. the Detroit Tigers
- September 6-8 vs. the Chicago Cubs
- September 10-12 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals
- September 14-16 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates
- September 17-19 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers
- September 20-22 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates
- September 23-26 vs. the Washington Nationals
- September 28-29 vs. the Chicago White Sox
- October 1-October 3 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates
As you can see, the Reds’ schedule is part of the reason why they have a 54.4-percent chance of making the postseason, according to FanGraphs. Nineteen of their remaining 29 games on the schedule are against teams under .500, and 16 of those 19 are against teams who are at least 15 games under .500. According to FanGraphs, Cincinnati has a greater than 50-percent chance to win six out of their next ten games.
San Diego Padres Remaining Schedule
Here are the remaining games for the Padres (entering Wednesday, September 1).
- September 1 at the Arizona Diamondbacks
- September 3-5 vs. the Houston Astros
- September 7-8 vs. the Los Angeles Angels
- September 10-12 at the Los Angeles Dodgers
- September 13-16 at the San Francisco Giants
- September 17-19 at the St. Louis Cardinals
- September 21-23 vs. the San Francisco Giants
- September 24-26 vs. the Atlanta Braves
- September 28-30 at the Los Angeles Dodgers
- October 1-3 at the San Francisco Giants
The Padres’ schedule doesn’t look like it will be their friend. FanGraphs says the Friars have a 29.5-percent chance of making the postseason. For some perspective, San Diego had a 93.2-percent chance of making it to the postseason before the season began. Just three of their remaining 29 games on the schedule are against teams under .500 (compared to Cincinnati’s 19).
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that San Diego has more of an uphill climb to reach the playoffs than Cincinnati has. Interestingly enough, though, FanGraphs projects the Padres to play better against good competition than the Reds against bad competition. Entering the final day of August, San Diego is projected to be three games over .500 while Cincinnati is expected to be one game under .500 the rest of the season.
We don’t know how the second wild card competition will finish but what we do know is it’ll be fun (and a little nerve wracking) to watch!