Update: Nationals beat Phillies 5-1 to take No. 1 seed. Reds play at San Francisco on Saturday. Washington plays at Braves-Cards winner on Sunday.
Today, the final day of the regular season, the playoff-bound Cincinnati Reds find out when and where they will play in the National League Divisional Series.
Mat Latos pitched a strong five innings and Aroldis Chapman turned in a strong and encouraging ninth inning as the Reds beat the host Cardinals 3-1 last night to remain tied with Washington for the best record in the NL. The Nats beat Philadelphia 4-2.
If Washington beats the visiting Phillies this afternoon in a 1:05 game, then the Nationals wrap up the No. 1 seed no matter what Cincinnati does in its finale tonight in St. Louis. The Nats beat the Reds five of seven games during the regular season, so Washington wins any tiebreaker with the Reds.
If the Reds are the No. 2 seed, Dusty Baker’s club would open the playoffs in San Francisco against the NL West winners on Saturday.
If the Nats lose Wednesday afternoon and the Reds win Wednesday night, Cincinnati would be the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and would start the post-season on Sunday at the home of the Wild Card game winner. St. Louis travels to Atlanta for that game on Friday.
Either way, Cincinnati will start post-season play on the road. In the 2-3 format, the top two seeds play the first two games of the NLDS on the road before returning home for the final three games, if necessary.
Is there an advantage to either seed? As the No. 1 seed, the Reds would play a team that had already burned a starter in the Wild Card game. As the No. 2 seed, the Reds would avoid a potential first-round matchup against their arch-nemesis, the Cardinals.
Which would you prefer?