Cincinnati – Projected Win Total Ov84.5 wins – 2nd in the NL Central
In our previous report, we covered many of the basics on the Reds, so let’s dig into the details more. New manager Bryan Price has to established himself moving up from pitching coach in the organization and how will the players respond to him?
After winning 90+ games in three of the past four years, sportsbooks have lowered expectations on the Cincinnati, down to 84.5. For those making baseball picks they will want to know what is Price’s managing style and talking to a close follower of the Reds, they will run more than under Dusty Baker.
Price has to convince Brandon Phillips the trade talks which happened last year are in the past and this is a new season and Cincinnati wants him to be a big part of the team this year.
While it seems unlikely because of the past, Price will try and sell Joey Votto on the idea of expanding his hitting zone ever so slightly with runners in scoring position to return to driving in 100 or more runs, not 73 like last season.
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Lastly, finding a productive leadoff man which hopefully turns out to be Billy Hamilton. If he can hit .250 to .265, walk more than presumed and steal 60 to 70 bases this season, they have answer for now.
Cincinnati has an all or nothing April schedule which could hurt or help them. They will face both St. Louis and Pittsburgh six times and have three-game series with Tampa Bay and at Atlanta. For those making MLB picks, this is balanced out by taking on the Cubs in six games and the Mets in three.
Game Notes – Both Tim Hudson and Reds starter Tony Cingrani pitched three scoreless innings, though the Cincy left-hander did walk three batters and admitted after the game he was “over-striding”.
MLB Season Prospects – If the Reds get the kind of pitching many experts believe, Cincinnati should be an Over play on wins, but they will have to manufacture more runs to reach 85 to 87 victories.