If the regular season ended today, the Reds would be eligible for postseason play, but they would be forced to play a one-game playoff on the road for the right to advance to the NLDS. Yes, such is the life for the No. 5 seed in the MLB playoffs nowadays.
But don't feel too bad for Dusty Baker's crew because they have at least one outsider in their corner. That person is CBS Sports national baseball writer Matt Snyder.
Snyder recently penned a whole post full of second-half predictions and I think Reds fan will really enjoy one of them. While most other writers are picking the Cardinals, Tigers, or Red Sox to reign supreme as World Series champions, Snyder has opted to cast his lot with the Reds.
Here's the proof:
My preseason World Series prediction was the Nationals over Tigers. I'll stick with the Tigers as the AL representative in the World Series because I love how their rotation and power stack up in October. The Nationals, however, just seem like they don't have "it" this season.
The problem is you can't make a deep postseason run if you don't qualify, and right now it appears the Braves are primed to win the NL East with the Cardinals, Reds and Pirates -- whichever two don't win the NL Central -- all superior to the Nationals in the wild-card race. So I need a new pick to come out of the NL.
And it's the Cincinnati Reds.
A strong argument could be made that the Reds haven't played close to their capability in the first half, yet here they are, 53-42 with a plus-63 run differential. They get on base, hit for power, play solid defense, have a strong rotation, have good pitching depth and a potentially great back end of the bullpen.
Things are going to click in September and then again in October for the Reds, and they're going to win their first World Series championship since the days of Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, Eric Davis, Tom Browning and the Nasty Boys.
As high as Snyder supposedly is on Cincy, he didn't give them a very high mark in his updated power rankings, tabbing them No. 10, which was well behind the Pirates (5th) and Cardinals (3rd), the two teams the Reds will be attempting to chase down in the second half.
Nonetheless, it's nice to see an unbiased source still believe in the potential of the Reds.