Originally written on Three-Way Chili  |  Last updated 10/4/12

The Cincinnati Reds will play the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 National League Divisional Series. Since nothing comes easy in the playoffs, I don't mind the matchup for the Reds. The Giants are a good team, but they have some things working against them -- such as the shocking decline of pitcher Tim Lincecum and outfielder Melky Cabrera being suspended due to testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

However, what I do mind -- and what I think is completely absurd -- is that the higher-seeded Reds are forced to start this best-of-five-game series on the road. That's right, MLB has decided this year that the lower-seeded team will host the first two games, and then the higher seed will host the final three.

What?

Exactly.

The second-seeded Reds (97-65) should be opening this series in Cincinnati. Instead, they'll have to travel to third-seeded San Francisco (94-68) in a series that will open Saturday at 9:37 p.m. Beautiful. The higher seed gets to fly across country and begin the playoffs on the West Coast. Only Bud Selig and his boys could think of something so brilliant.

There is no reason MLB needed to overthink this one. The format should be 2-2-1, period. And by that I mean, the higher seed hosts the first two games, the lower seed hosts the next two games, and then the higher seed hosts the deciding fifth game if necessary. It's not complicated in the least.

However, the Reds have to play the hand they were dealt and if they're able to at least split in San Fran, all will be well.

Johnny Cueto will take the hill for the Reds against Matt Cain and the Giants Saturday night. The Giants have the player who I believe will win the NL MVP in catcher Buster Posey. This will be a tough series; there is no question. But anyone the Reds would have faced in the first round (the Braves or the Cardinals) would have been a difficult series.

The Reds did not hit well during September, so that is a concern entering the postseason. (Also, Drew Stubbs is still on the team, so that's another concern.) Joey Votto is getting hits and walks at a high rate per usual, but hasn't shown any power since returning from a knee injury. Todd Frazier has been ice cold since August, but he won't be a starter anyway since Scott Rolen -- who's been ice cold offensively all year -- will start at third base. Even arguably the best bargain free-agent signing in MLB, outfielder Ryan Ludwick, has struggled recently at the plate. Dusty Baker's boys have to hope they'll put it all together in October. And yes, it's great to have Dusty back, who suffered a mild stroke in mid-September. 

The good news for the Reds is the pitching has been excellent all season -- both the starters and the bullpen. Simply put: This is the best pitching a Reds team has seen in ages. For many of us -- myself included -- this is without question the best pitching we've ever witness from a Reds club. They have a 3.34 team ERA, which is second in all of MLB behind the Washington Nationals.

So, sit back and enjoy the ride. And hopefully the Reds don't let MLB's foolish decision to make the higher seed start on the road negatively affect them. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

One pitch away: Carrasco loses no-hitter in bottom of the 9th

England loses World Cup semifinal to Japan in heartbreaking fashion

Braxton Miller had 'successful' check-up visit

Raptors signing Carroll is shrewdest move of free agency

Report: Los Angeles Clippers will sign Paul Pierce

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

Dwyane Wade, Heat reportedly progressing in contract talks

David West explains why he opted out of Pacers contract

Warriors, Draymond Green agree to 5-year, $85 million deal

Twins call up top prospect Miguel Sano

Robert Griffin III speaks at UN to advocate for protecting oceans

Cavaliers re-sign Iman Shumpert to four-year contract

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.