The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals are both making legitimate pushes at cracking the 2021 MLB postseason.
A couple of months ago, it looked like both teams were dead in the water, but today, the Reds and Cardinals are firmly in the Wild Card mix.
Right now, the two clubs are facing off in a massive head-to-head series.
The first game of the series was played on Monday night, and the Cardinals got a big win.
There are two games left in the three-game set, and the NL Wild Card picture could change a lot depending on how the rest of the series unfolds.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Looking At The Wild Card Picture
The NL Wild Card race is full of twists and turns this season.
Right now, realistically, there are four teams battling for the final playoff spot.
Here’s how everything looks going into play on Tuesday:
- Wild Card Spot No. 1: Los Angeles Dodgers
- Wild Card Spot No. 2: Reds
- In The Hunt: San Diego Padres (0.5 GB of Reds)
- In The Hunt: Cardinals (2.5 GB of Reds)
- In The Hunt: Philadelphia Phillies (3.0 GB of Reds)
The Cardinals are only 2.5 games back of the second wild card
— Logan Webb Truther (84-47) 🐧 (@WilIBednar) August 31, 2021
Clearly, the Cardinals have a great opportunity to make up some ground right now during their series with the Reds.
St. Louis will ultimately have to leapfrog both San Diego and Cincinnati in order to claim a Wild Card bid, but the Cardinals shouldn’t be too worried about the Padres.
Well, San Diego has the toughest remaining schedule in all of baseball.
It’s going to be extremely hard for the Padres to stay afloat in the Wild Card race given their upcoming slate.
Looking At The Remaining Games In The Reds-Cardinals Series
The Cardinals kicked this series off on a high note by taking the first game.
If they want to really close the gap in the Wild Card race, they’re going to have to sweep the three-game set.
A sweep would put the Cardinals just a half game back of the Reds, thus making things extremely interesting.
Cincinnati, of course, would like the opposite to happen.
Last night was frustrating, but time to move on. The Reds still hold a playoff spot.
We need to deliver a knockout blow to the Cardinals and win these next two games. No more playing around.
It’s time to go. Go Reds.
— Diehard Reds (@Diehard_Reds) August 31, 2021
The second game of the series is set for Tuesday night.
This is a pretty solid pitching matchup.
Mikolas, who has a 2.70 ERA, has been great for the Cardinals this season since coming off the injured list.
Gray, meanwhile, is continuing to prove that he’s still a solid big-league pitcher despite his awful stint with the New York Yankees.
He has a 3.91 ERA this season.
Vegas currently likes the Reds to win this game.
On Wednesday night, the two clubs will wrap up their series.
Happ has managed 2.22 ERA since being traded to St. Louis, though his 4.33 FIP suggests that his success might not last much longer.
Miley, on the other hand, has a 2.74 ERA and 3.53 FIP this season.
The veteran is having a great campaign.
The outcome of this game will likely depend on whether or not Happ’s luck will continue.
It will be very interesting to see how the rest of this series plays out.