The MLB season is scheduled to get underway in a few weeks, and the Cincinnati Reds are expecting to be more competitive than they've been in years.
The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have blotted out many preseason projections, but the Reds had made a number of offseason additions to improve on last year's 75-87 record. Despite this, the Reds' regular season win total over/under at FanDuel Sportsbook puts them at just 31.5 wins.
However, it's clear that the Reds have the potential to be much better than just a game or two over .500. With Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos, and NPB star Shogo Akiyama all signed over the offseason to bolster their lineup, the Reds have fixed one of their main weaknesses. Those three will join Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez in the Reds' lineup.
Meanwhile, the Reds have built one of the best rotations in baseball via some savvy trades and strong development. Luis Castillo was a Cy Young candidate and has the numbers to be a potential ace (3.40 ERA). Sonny Gray was also dominant last season, giving the Reds a dangerous 1-2 punch. They also traded for Trevor Bauer during 2019, giving them a talented third starter to work with in a shortened season.
The Reds also can rely on a strong bullpen and back end of the rotation. Anthony DeSclafani and new signing Wade Miley are solid veterans and should provide much-needed stability. At closer, Raisel Iglesias struggled at times last year, but he does have the potential to bounce back.
If not, underrated pitchers like Michael Lorenzen and Amir Garrett, both of whom had an ERA under 3.25 last season, can pick up the slack.
In a wide-open NL Central with another 20 games guaranteed against a weak AL Central, the Reds are in good position to win well over 31 games. Given that they were one of baseball's unluckiest teams last year—they went 24-33 in one-run games and had a run differential of only minus-10 despite going 75-87—the Reds are likely going to be more competitive than many casual fans would think.
In what's likely to be a chaotic season, a win total of 31.5 is slightly disrespectful for a talented Cincinnati team.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.