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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cincinnati Reds: Can The Reds Sneak Into The Playoffs?

St. Louis has dropped 7 in a row. The Reds are only 2 and a half games back. Can they win the NL Central? I've still gotta say "No" but I am intrigued.

The Reds looked like they were left for dead upon arriving back from their west coast trip where they went 2-8. They're hardly been on fire lately (5-5 in their last 10), but the way St. Louis has looked could it really be enough? Keep in mind that Cincinnati still has to worry about the Astros as well who are only 1 and a half games back of the Cardinals, and have caught fire over the past week, winning 7 in a row, which has made them the talk of ESPN lately.

The odds that the division could end in a 3-way tie is an interesting factor that we haven't seen since realignment in 1994. Another interesting curve in this scenario is the fact that the Cardinals had an early season game against San Francisco cancelled due to inclement weather. If Houston, Cincinnati, or both, finish within a half game of the Cards they'll need to make up that game.

It's difficult to make-up 2 and a half games with only 5 remaining. To me it still looks like the Reds are a year or two away from being serious playoff contenders. They need to strengthen the back of their rotation, their lineup is much weaker since the trade of Kearns and Lopez, and Guardado's injury hurt them significantly. That said, this team has been a surprise all season, and nobody should be shocked if they pull this off.

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