I did an article a while back on three teams I think will make the playoffs after missing in 2018. None of those teams were the Cincinnati Reds, the team I will be discussing today. They were my fourth choice and after doing more research I am extremely excited to watch the Reds. I feel like if they have some things go right, they could be a playoff team. They have a lineup with no clear weaknesses and a starting staff with the potential to have a really good year.
If you follow this page you’re most likely a Twins fan and you know most people project the twins to finish around 83 wins even though they are a lot better. The same thing goes for the Reds. Most projections have them missing the playoffs and winning around 83 games even though they have made significant upgrades all throughout the team.
They added outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp as well as impact pitchers Alex Wood and Sonny Gray. All of those players will help lead a reds squad that will have a potential elite lineup.
Joey Votto is one of the best on base players in history. He has led the league in OBP seven times including last season and he is still only going into his age 35 season. Eugenio Suarez is coming off a year with an .892 OPS and 34 homers. He is one of my dark horse candidates for MVP after having a season not many noticed in 2018. Scooter Gennett is coming off an all star season where his OPS was .847 and he hit 23 home runs with 92 RBIs. Yasiel Puig will hit for .275 and 20 home runs consistently. Matt Kemp is another big impact outfielder who will be a leader on this team, I mean even their catcher Tucker Barnhardt can swing the bat.
With a lineup like that, you don’t even need an amazing rotation. At first glance the reds pitchers probably doesn’t look great, but their 1-5 actually is quite solid. The young Luis Castillo will be entering his second full season after a 1.220 WHIP last year, Alex Wood who was recently acquired is a solid number 2 pitcher every season. He has a career 3.29 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 1.215 WHIP and 3.22 K/BB. Tanner Roark has shown the ability to be a 2 or 3 starter consistently having an ERA around 4 while throwing 180 innings. The most interesting player we all know, Sonny Gray has the potential to be really good. He is coming off his worst year but perhaps getting him out of the big city of New York and into a smaller Cincinnati will turn his career back around.
The Reds have an elite closer in Raisel Iglesias. He has had 28+ saves the last two seasons and averages a WHIPS just above 1.100 for his career. He is one of the most under appreciated closers in the game. This reds team could surprise and people would finally see just how good Raisel Iglesias is.
Overall I can see the Reds sneaking into the playoffs behind their star players like Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez. The pitchers they have added will be enough to do the job needed of them.
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