The Cincinnati Reds entered the 2019 season with high hopes and new faces all around. They have completely revamped both their lineup and pitching staff and retained much of their solid bullpen from last year. Combining all of these facts and you would assume that this ball club would be competing with Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals for the top of the National League Central. But, through the first quarter of the season, the Reds yet again find themselves dwelling in last place. However, there is plenty of reason for optimism for the rest of the season.
Through 41 games the Reds are a mere 18-23. But, that record is not truly indicative of how solid this team has been and how high their potential is going forward. They are 6-12 in games decided by a single run this season. Some of this is due to luck, some of it is due to a lack of clutch hitting, and some due to closer Raisel Iglesias’ early-season struggles. While their record in one-run games has tanked their record a bit, they actually boast the 7th best run differential in baseball (+31) and their Pythagorean Win-Loss Percentage which calculates the estimated winning percentage of a team based off run differential is good for 6th in the Major Leagues (.593).
Yes, these are just statistics, and they do not take the Reds out of last place. But, these are reasons for Reds fans to be optimistic. They are playing well. They have the second-best ERA in the majors, thanks to Luis Castillo pitching like a Cy Young award contender and offseason additions Tanner Roark and Sonny Gray having nice bounce back years. The pitching staff is legit, the bullpen is solid and the hitting has been coming around ever since Nick Senzel’s promotion.
Don’t count out these Reds just yet. If the likes of Yasiel Puig and Joey Votto can get going offensively this team has a solid chance to jump into contention for the postseason. There is a whole lot of baseball left to be played, folks.