By Matthew McAdow
As of May 30th, the Reds currently sit in 3rd place in the National League Central with a record of 24-29. They are only 2 games back of the Pirates for 2nd place and 4 games back of the first place Brewers. After the start Cincinnati had last year, I believe fans should be more than pleased with how Cincinnati is playing through May. With the Red Sox series upcoming, along with a 4 game series against the Brewers, this week is the most important week of Reds baseball so far this year. Ground could be covered after this week and if they play like they did against the Cubs, Cincinnati could really make a push for the first place spot in the division. The Reds odds to win the division currently sits at +5000, so grab $200 and lay it down on the Redlegs, as I truly believe you could be raking in $10,000 on our hometown team come late September…Here’s why:
- Reinforcements are on their way. Encarnacion-Strand, De La Cruz, Hopkins, and Abbott are awaiting their call up to the big leagues. De La Cruz recently was awarded the #1 spot on the top 100 prospect list and is playing well enough for people to call him “the future face of baseball.” With these reinforcements soon to make an impact, the roster becomes that much more dangerous on a day-to-day basis.
- As a team, the Reds currently have the worst ERA in all of baseball regarding starting pitching. Despite the horrific start, they are still nearly playing .500 baseball. Lodolo will eventually get healthy, Ashcraft will improve, and Greene will continue to get back to his old self. With the good play from Weaver, Williamson, and Lively, I believe this team will be back to .500 before mid-June.
- The bullpen has been way better than I expected. Alexis Diaz quite possibly could be the best closer in baseball. Gibaut, Law, Young, and Sims have played good baseball despite being overworked.
- The National League Central is a very weak division. The Pirates are coming back to reality and the Brewers just simply don’t have enough bats in their lineup to win many games. The Brewers are last in the division in regards to runs scored and hold a run differential of -21. At some point, their lack of offense will show….This weekend would be a good time to take advantage of this.
How can the Reds Squeeze Young Talent in their Lineup?
Instead of enjoying the off-day yesterday, Reds twitter seemed to explode over the weekend with many panicking over an article regarding Jonathan India. Trust me when I say that Jonathan India isn’t going anywhere. Jonathan India is the leader of this team and he will continue to perform at second base. I would be highly shocked if they even switched him positions, as we are mid-year in the 2023 season. The Reds drafted all shortstops for a reason, and that is because they are the most athletic person on the field. That means, if you get drafted as a shortstop by the Reds, be prepared to play other positions, as that is what is in store. Here is what I believe the Reds lineup will soon look like, barring any major injuries:
- C – Stephenson/Maile
- 1B – Votto/Steer/Encarnacion-Strand
- 2B – India/McLain
- SS – McLain/De La Cruz
- 3B – Steer/De La Cruz
- RF – Senzel/Hopkins
- CF- Friedl/Barrero
- LF – Fraley (RHP)/Fairchild
- DH – Encarnacion-Strand/Votto/Stephenson/India
And of course, there will be playing time for Myers, Benson, and Newman. I believe once the time comes where the prospects are called up, this lineup is the most dangerous in the National League Central. Depending on who is pitching, my ideal lineup includes:
1 – Jonathan India
2 – Matt McLain
3 – TJ Friedl
4 – Jake Fraley
5 – Spencer Steer/Encarnacion-Strand
6 – De La Cruz
7 – Joey Votto
8 – Nick Senzel
9 – Tyler Stephenson
Grab your popcorn and hold on tight, as the Redlegs are about to make a believer out of the many fans who doubted the plans this time last season!