Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reds boast slight edge in remaining scheduling over Pirates and Cardinals


Only 67 games separate the Reds from the conclusion of the regular season. At 53-42, and a full 5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the division, Cincinnati will need every advantage it can get going down the homestretch.

One of those advantages might just include strength of schedule. ESPN's Buster Olney recently ranked the remaining schedules for every contending team in baseball and the Reds fared quite favorably on his list, coming in at No. 12 out of 19 clubs.

According to Olney, only the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves have an easier schedule left to play among National League teams than do the Reds, with the Pittsburgh Pirates (No. 10), and Cardinals (No. 5) facing a much tougher road ahead.

Here is a breakdown on how the second half schedules of the Pirates, Cardinals, and Reds stack up against one another, courtesy of Olney.

5. St. Louis Cardinals 
Games against teams with records of .500 or better: 38 
Home/road: 38 of 69 at home 
Schedule quirks: They have a whopping 24 games remaining against the two teams that are chasing them, the Pirates and Reds, including 13 straight games -- a stretch that starts Aug. 26. 
The big finish: The Cardinals close out the regular season with six straight home games against the Nationals and Cubs. 

10. Pittsburgh Pirates 
Games against teams with records of .500 or better: 33 
Home/road: 31 of 69 at home 
Schedule quirks: The second half will begin for the Pirates with a long road trip through Cincinnati, Washington and Miami. Pittsburgh also has a nine-game road swing that takes the Pirates through Milwaukee, St. Louis and Texas in early September. 

The Pirates can go 26-44 the rest of the way and still finish over .500 and end their streak of losing seasons. But they’re not worried about that now; they’re trying to make the playoffs. 

The big finish: Six of Pittsburgh’s final nine games will be against the Reds, and the Pirates’ final six games of the season are on the road, at Wrigley Field and in Cincinnati. 

12. Cincinnati Reds 
Games left against teams with records of .500 or better: 32 
Home/road: 35 of 67 at home 
Schedule quirks: Over the course of about a month, from Aug. 2 to Sept. 5, they’ll have 10 games against the St. Louis Cardinals. 
The big finish: They’ll wrap up the regular season with six games at home -- three versus the Mets and three against the Pirates, which could weigh very heavily in the playoff race. 

As you can see, the Reds do boast a slight edge over the two teams their trying to beat out for the division crown in regards to scheduling. However, if the Reds want to win their third title in four seasons, which I am convinced that they do, they are going to have to take care of business against the Buccos and Redbirds, and not just the clubs with losing records.

Source [ESPN]

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