This series means a lot more to the Cardinals right now than it does the Reds. Basically, the Cardinals need a sweep. Down by 8 games with 31 to play (29 for the Reds), they need to make a surge if they want to get back in the race. The Reds, on the other hand, simply need to not tank. Playing around .500 the rest of the way pretty much forces the Cardinals to play their best baseball of the year. The thing is, I expect the Reds to play at least a couple of games over .500 the rest of the way. That is to say, unless the Cardinals get a sweep, this race is close to done.
Because of that, I expect the Reds to play much more relaxed this series than their last one against the Cardinals. This year's team seems to be one that can easily put the past behind them. I also expect that they learned a lesson in the last series, that they need to play calm. They've been much more calm in the last 3 weeks and it has showed in the results on the field. The Cards have some good pitchers going this weekend, so it would surprise me if the Reds win only one game, but I do not expect them to get swept again.
And hey, even if they do get swept, it's still a 5-game lead. Like we've been saying, it doesn't matter how they play against the Cardinals if they can beat up on everyone else.