The Reds clinched a spot in the postseason Monday night, but kept the champagne on ice because there is still work to do.
It'll be as a wildcard or as a division winner when the Reds enter their third postseason in four years next week. Simply, the scenarios look like this:
Win the NL Central. Avoid one game wildcard playoff.
Wildcard first seed. Host one game playoff Tuesday October 1st.
Wildcard second seed. Play one game playoff Tuesday October 1st in home stadium of top wildcard seed.
The Reds, Pirates and Cardinals are all jockeying for these three spots and these spots only. All three will make the playoffs, but the final week of the season will decide who wins the division and who gets to host the one game wildcard playoff.
There are complicated tiebreaking scenarios that could come into play.
If there is a division winner, but the two wildcard teams finish with identical records: The team with the best head-to-head record will host the wildcard game. The Reds would lose that tiebreaker to St. Louis.
The Reds currently have an even record with Pittsburgh, but that'll be sorted out in the final three game series of the season.
If there is a two-way tie for the NL Central: Those two teams will play a one game playoff to determine who advances to the NLDS as the division winner and the loser will then host the wildcard game.
If all three teams finish with the same record, a three-way tie for the NL Central: This is where it gets very complicated. The teams would be seeded based on MLB tiebreakers and play each other to determine who wins the division and the other teams then playing the one game wildcard.
FOX19 will air Reds vs. Pirates on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.
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