Thu 26/03/2015 - 19:22 EDT

Cincinnati Reds 2015 Season Preview

Cincinnati Reds 2015 Season Preview
With the face of Canadian baseball, Joey Votto, returning from injury, the Cincinnati Reds lineup will bounce back from a forgettable performance in 2014, but can the bats compensate for the Reds lackluster starting rotation.

Futures

Odds To Win Division: +1200

Odds To Win NL Pennant: 28/1

Odds To Win World Series: 66/1

Regular Season Win Total: 77.5

Most Significant Offseason Changes

Biggest Additions: 

Marlon Byrd, LF

Kevin Gregg, RP

Anthony Desclafani, SP

Paul Maholm, RP

Eugenio Suarez, SS

Burke Badenhop, RP

Biggest Losses:

Matt Latos, SP

Alfredo Simon, SP

Ryan Ludwick, LF

Chris Heisey, LF

Logan Ondrusek, RP

They’ll Be Successful If…

The health of first baseman, Joey Votto, is directly correlated to the Reds success. The Reds have one of the most intimidating closers in the game. The Reds lineup should rebound after being one of weakest in the Majors last year. Even amidst a below average season from the former MVP, Votto’s presence in the lineup produced a noticeably better Reds team. With Votto in the lineup last season, the Reds posted a winning percentage of .516 compared to .440 when he was on the disabled list. Cincy should see their win total increase from 2014, as long as Votto can remain healthy and productive. Combined with Votto’s absence, both Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips had second-rate seasons in 2014 especially considering the two stars combined for 212 RBIs in 2013 versus only 117 RBIs in 2014. Last season should be considered an anomaly for the two players and they will return to form in 2015. The offseason signing of Marlon Byrd gives the lineup a reliable and well-balance bat (49 home runs between 2013-2014, career batting average of .278) and provides them with a defensive upgrade in left field.Often cracking 100mph, the Reds closer, Aroldis Chapman has a cannon for an arm. Chapman torched batters in 2014 to a tune of 17.7 strikeouts per 9 innings, and went 36 for 38 in saves opportunities. Chapman should continue to mow down battings at a ridiculous pace in 2015.

They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…

Outside of Johnny Cueto, the pitching staff is lacking. Taking Cueto out of the equation leaves the Reds with an unpredictable and inexperienced rotation. Alfredo Simon and Mat Latos were two costly offseason casualties for the Reds, and now force the Reds to fill out the rotation with unproven talent. Homer Bailey exemplifies inconsistency, posting a no-hitter (he is one of four active players with multiple no-hitters) one outing and allowing over 6 runs the next. While he is serviceable in the 2 spot, his erratic performance can be burdensome on a team lacking much pitching depth. Mike Leake has shown durability, averaging over 200 innings the past two seasons, but is simply average in other categories such as WHIP and strikeouts per 9 innings. The other pitchers, Anthony Desclafani and Raisel Iglesias either have very minimal Major League experience (Desclafani has pitched 33 innings in his career) or none at all (Iglesias is making his Major League debut this season). The rotation will need to see quick growth and much better consistency in 2015 for the Reds to have a shot at the postseason.   

Fantasy Bargain:  Brandon Phillips, 2B

The former fantasy star has taken some serious flask from fantasy writers lately and has fallen low on most rankings. While he may deserve somewhat of a drop, he is still a very productive second baseman. Consider last season an outlier. From 2006 until 2013, Phillips only once failed to record 75 RBIs and hit a minimum of 18 home runs in each. While he did suffer from some injuries in 2014, he had played at-least 140 games from the 2006-2013 stretch. Look for a rebound in his fantasy value in 2015.     

Outlook

The Reds are an intriguing team this season, but are seemingly built to top heavy to really takeoff in 2015. If Votto can lead the lineup back to respectable levels, and Cueto and Chapman produce like they have in the past, the Reds could bounce back to contenders and are a trendy sleeper pick in 2015.  

Prediction: 4th In NL Central

Category : Archives

Tag : baseball , Cincinnati Reds , Cincinnati Reds 2015 Season Preview , mlb , Reds

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