The Reds have 17 games remaining and will play 12 games against teams with losing records. They will have to win Wednesday and Thursday in Pittsburgh to stop a streak of six straight losing series.
The Padres have 18 games to play and have no more games against teams with losing records. The Cardinals have 17 games left and have seven games against winning teams, including three against the Padres this week.
Here’s how their schedules compare:
• Reds: Sept. 15-16, at Pirates (53-91); Sept. 17-19, vs. Dodgers (93-53); Sept. 20-22, vs. Pirates; Sept. 23-26, vs. Washington Nationals (60-85); Sept. 28-29, at Chicago White Sox (83-61); Oct. 1-3, at Pirates.
• Padres: Sept. 15-16, at San Francisco Giants (95-50); Sept. 17-19, at Cardinals; Sept. 21-23, vs. Giants; Sept. 24-26, vs. Atlanta Braves (76-67); Sept. 28-30, at Dodgers; Oct. 1-3, at Giants.
• Cardinals: Sept. 15, at New York Mets (72-74); Sept. 17-19, vs. Padres; Sept. 20-23, at Milwaukee Brewers (89-56); Sept. 24-26, at Chicago Cubs (66-79); Sept. 28-30, vs. Milwaukee; Oct. 1-3, vs. Cubs.
The winner of the second wild-card will play on the road against the Giants or Dodgers, whoever doesn’t win the West Division, on Oct. 6. That game will air on TBS.