Month of Pain

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The next month, May 22-June 22, could be a make-or-break stretch for the Redlegs.

As of Tuesday night (discarding any Wednesday games), a rather intriguing situation has played out in the National League. The St. Louis Cardinals (29-16), Cincinnati Reds (28-18), and Pittsburgh Pirates (27-18) currently sit one, two, and three atop the N.L. standings, respectively.

But despite the Reds current position and impressive .609 winning percentage, the next 31 days should be very frightening for Cincinnati.

Question: Why, Josh?

Answer: Well, because the Reds haven’t been able to beat teams that actually, you know, win games. And, as it turns out, they’re about to play quite a few of those teams.

Take a look at all of the games this season in which the Reds have beaten teams with winning records:

  1. Tuesday, April 8: Reds 13, Cardinals 4
  2. Monday, April 29: Reds 2, Cardinals 1
  3. Tuesday, May 7: Reds 5, Braves 4
  4. THERE ISN’T A FOURTH

That’s right—of the Reds 28 victories so far this season, a not-so-walloping three of them have come against teams with winning records. Luckily for the Reds, they’ve obviously played significantly more games against bad teams. They’re 25-9 (.64 winning percentage) against teams with losing records, versus 3-9 (.33 winning percentage) against teams with winning records. The next month, however, is about to send the club through the grinder.

Nineteen of the Reds next 29 games (including 13 straight at one point) are against teams with winning records. If the aforementioned winning percentages were to hold true over the next month, Cincinnati would go roughly 11-15 (39-33 overall).

Upcoming schedule:

5/24

vs. Chicago Cubs

5/25

vs. Chicago Cubs

5/26

vs. Chicago Cubs

5/27

vs. Cleveland Indians

5/28

vs. Cleveland Indians

5/29

at Cleveland Indians

5/30

at Cleveland Indians

5/31

at Pittsburgh Pirates

6/1

at Pittsburgh Pirates

6/2

at Pittsburgh Pirates

6/3

vs Colorado Rockies

6/4

vs Colorado Rockies

6/5

vs Colorado Rockies

6/7

vs. St. Louis Cardinals

6/8

vs. St. Louis Cardinals

6/9

vs. St. Louis Cardinals

6/10

at Chicago Cubs

6/11

at Chicago Cubs

6/12

at Chicago Cubs

6/13

at Chicago Cubs

6/14

vs. Milwaukee Brewers

6/15

vs. Milwaukee Brewers

6/16

vs. Milwaukee Brewers

6/17

vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

6/18

vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

6/19

vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

6/20

vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

6/21

at Arizona Diamondbacks

6/22

at Arizona Diamondbacks

Bold denotes teams with winning records

As you can see by the underlined games, the next 31 days will play a major factor in shaping the heated race for the N.L Central crown, as well. The Reds will play a total of 10 games against the Cardinals and Pirates during the stretch. If the Reds hope to keep pace in the central, they’ll need to improve on the combined record of 2-7 they’ve posted against the Buccos and Cards so far this season.

Throw in a four-game series (home and away) with the red-hot Cleveland Indians, and it’s easy to see how things could go very wrong for the Reds during this stretch. 

Over the next 31 days we’re going to find out, for better or worse, where the Reds stack up.

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