No. 1 seed vs. No. 2 seed?
Click here for the latest “if the season ended today” postseason matchup bracket.
There seems to be some debate over the merits of the Reds getting a No. 1 seed vs. a No. 2 seed because of the unique playoff format in the NLDS where the team with home field advantage gets Game 3, 4 and 5 and the lesser seed opens with Games 1 and 2.
*If the Reds finish with the No. 2 seed, they would likely end the season in St. Louis and fly directly to San Francisco to meet the No. 3 seed Giants on Saturday, Oct. 6. AT&T Park will be packed with Giants fans and a great homefield advantage for the Giants. (Update: Facing Cain, Bumgarner or Lincecum there would be no picnic either)…The Reds split a four-game series there in July.
*If the Reds get the No. 1 seed, they would fly home and await the winner of the Wild Card game — after possibly waiting out some tiebreaker game(s) for teams to get into the Wild Card round. So there is less opponent certainty there. They could fly to either Atlanta, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Milwaukee.
Click here for Mark Clements’ Saturday story that offers more detail on possible opponents.
In the short view, the No. 1 seed doesn’t seem to be a much better perk over the No. 2 seed. On the other hand, the Reds have advance scouts watching all of the potential opponents so it’s not like the club won’t be prepared for any contingency. And it’s possible the Wild Card round winner might have used up their best starting pitcher(s) and worn out its bullpen just to advance to the NLDS.
Regardless, the Reds should have inner-confidence that it can beat any opponent in any situation.
In the long view, the top seed is best because that would give the Reds home-field advantage for the NLCS over any opponent in the best-of-seven series.
No matter what seed the Reds get, they would have home field advantage if they reach the World Series because the NL won the All-Star game.
So what would you rather see the Reds get — No. 1 seed or No. 2 seed?