Prospects for success in the Cincinnati Reds 2016 MLB season don't look great as they're at +12500 on the MLB odds to win the World Series.
Desclafani or Iglesias?
One of these men will be the starting pitcher on opening day, but make no mistake about it, there's no ace on this staff and the rotation order can be rearranged at any time during the season.
At 9-13 with a 4.05 ERA in 2015, Cincy is really reaching to have starter Anthony DeSclafani in the #1 position in the rotation. Along with being unable to get opposing hitters out (.273 BA), DeSclafani lacks experience and pitched to a 5.11 ERA at home.
On the positive side, he has youth on his side, can keep the Reds in the game and has proven that he's an innings eater. I expect DeSclafani to improve this season, but not to the point at where a #1 pitcher should be.
As for 2nd year pitcher, Raisel Iglesias, he possessed some good MLB odds numbers in 2015 and I see a much higher upside with Iglesias than DeSclafani.
In 95 1/3 innings, Iglesias struck out 104 batters and held the opposition to a .228 BA. That said, the runners that did get on base scored often as his 4.15 ERA indicated. He also started 16 games and managed just 3 victories.
Lack of run support hurt him, but his inability to “seal the deal” reflects in his 3-7 record. Look for Iglesias to have a much improved season. He has some nasty stuff and this “nasty team” can surely use it.
A Hitter's Best Friend
In John Lamb's first 10 starts in the majors at Kansas City, he was a flatout disaster. Lamb pitched just 49 2/3 inning and had a 1-5 record with a 5.80 ERA. Lamb had a 7.16 ERA at home and allowed the opposition to hit 2.96 off of him. As stated earlier, the only positive thing that can be said about him is he has youth on his side. Does this guy get a World Series Championship ring? If he did, it would be considered charity.
Bullpen Turned Starter
Starter Brandon Finnegan (5-2, 3.56 ERA) appears to be a much better pitcher than John Lamb as they both came from K.C.. The question is “Can he make it as a starter?”
Last season, he started 4 games and ended up pitching 48 innings. The transition to starter is the major question here. I don't consider this a negative, but yet again, Cincinnati doesn't have a workhorse that has proven to be an innings eater and a winner at the same time. This makes me a little hesitant to have them high on the list as an MLB pick.
More Youth, No Results
Michael Lorenzen, who is currently injured, is coming into his 2nd season much like some of the other starters in this rotation. He had a poor 2015, gave up a ton of hits, and a ton of runs. Last season, Lorenzen was 4-9 with a 5.40 ERA in 113 innings. He had a tendency to allow a lot of free passes along with the .292 batting average that the opposition hit off of him. This is a reoccurring theme with this team. I really can't tell the betting public what to expect out of Lorenzen. This baseball team appears like a good team to fade betting-wise.
The “outlook” isn't really good where the pitching is concerned. The Reds staff is one of the most inexperienced staffs in the majors and most of the staff had terrible rookie campaigns. There's really not much to look forward to and I will GUARANTEE that the Reds won't win the World Series with a pitching staff like this. If anything, they're a great fade during the regular season.