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The Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants are playing for their playoff lives

A three-game series by the Bay that could well knock one club completely out of the race.

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds are fresh off having been envenomated by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 3 of their last 4 games. The San Francisco Giants, meanwhile, salvaged a lone victory on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves but have still dropped 7 of their last 10 overall.

With their respective division leaders leaving them dusted over the last four weeks, the lone path for both clubs to the 2023 playoffs resides with the Wild Card spots. Both the Reds and Giants now sit outside those coveted spots, however, each 1.5 games back after their August stumbles.

Each club has had an August to completely forget after promising starts to their respective seasons. Both teams, you’ll recall, sat mostly idle at the August 1st trade deadline only to suffer some pretty significant injuries immediately in its wake - both Anthony DeSclafani and Michael Conforto are banged up for San Francisco, for the record. Here’s a pretty good visual of how both teams have performed relative to their peers as the crunch-time portion of their schedules rolled around:

The Reds and Giants will face off in a trio of contests over the next few days, and if any team plays well enough to claim a sweep, odds are the other is more or less completely kaput from the playoff race with only 27 (Reds) and 29 (Giants) games remaining for each upon completion. So, it would certainly behoove the Reds to not be the sweepee.

A pair of talented rookie southpaws will be tasked with leading each team’s charge tonight, as the Reds will send out Andrew Abbott opposite Kyle Harrison of San Francisco. Again, it would behoove the Reds to sock a few Harry homers to prolong their chances of making the playoffs.

First pitch is set for 9:45 PM ET. Stuart Fairchild is in the starting lineup after having spent time on the concussion IL, though the Reds have not announced the corresponding roster move just yet.

Reds Lineup

Giants Lineup