2021 Cincinnati Reds Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
The Cincinnati Reds have been an absolute tire fire since finishing third in the NL Central and losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Wild Card game in 2013. Since that season, the Reds have gone on to finish fourth, fifth, fifth and fifth, fifth and fourth, respectively, which includes four seasons of 90+ losses. The Reds have gone 22 seasons without winning a playoff series. However, with the roster they’ve assembled heading into the 2021 season, they have an outside chance of ending that drought.
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Last season, the Reds finished with a record of 31-29, which was good enough for third place in the NL Central and good enough for a wild-card spot in the expanded playoffs. Despite losing the wild-card series 2-0 to the Brewers, it was the first playoff appearance for the Reds since 2013. One would hope that they can take strides and carry that momentum into this season.
The Reds open the regular season with a three-game home series against the St. Louis Cardinals before welcoming the Pittsburgh Pirates to Ohio for a three-game set. From there, travel across the country to face Arizona for three and then San Francisco for three. The Reds are expected to be competitive this year, which is why they are +3500 to win the World Series, +2000 to win the NL Pennant and +350 to win the NL Central. Their season wins total sits at 82.5.
Reds 2021 Projected Lineup
The Reds projected batting order features one of the best sluggers in baseball, Joey Votto. Unfortunately, the bottom of the lineup leaves a lot to be desired. As of writing this, the Reds batting lineup looks something like this:
- Jesse Winker
- Nick Castellanos
- Joey Votto
- Eugenio Suarez
- Mike Moustakas
- Nick Senzel
- Kyle Farmer
- Tucker Barnhart
- Pitchers Spot
The top half of the Reds order has the potential to be one of the most potent quintets in baseball. They are led by the No. 3 hitter, Votto, who despite getting up there in age is still producing for the Reds and helping them win ball games. The quintet managed to hit 60 homeruns last season, and the projects for this year are expecting them to hit 140 long balls, with Suarez leading the way with 37, followed by “The Moose” with 35.
Beyond them, the lineup takes a drastic nosedive as Senzel, Farmer and Barnhart are all guys who’ve been around the league long enough to be relied upon to produce good numbers, but each of them has failed to live up to expectations. The trio combined for just seven home runs, three stolen bases, and the best OBP was Farmer’s .329. If this trio of players can’t produce at the bottom of the lineup, or at the very least get on base and turn the lineup over for the big bats at the top of the order, the Reds may be in for an extremely long season. I’m not sure where the optimism comes from for this team this year. With a roster that’s aging, it’s going to take some sort of incredible run to get them above .500.
Reds 2021 Projected Rotation & Closer
The Reds’ rotation this year is once against questionable at best. There is no bonafide ace anywhere in this organization, so it will take a collective effort to keep the Reds from being the laughingstock of the league. Sonny Gray pitched well at times last season, and he managed a 5-3 record in 11 started games and kept his ERA to a respectable 3.70 ERA.
Behind Gray, the Reds will rely on a quartet that includes Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Wade Miley and Michael Lorenzen. Castillo is the most known pitcher and perhaps the best pitcher out of this quartet. He started 12 games last year. And despite a 4-6 record, he had a respectable 3.21 ERA.
The projections for the remaining trio of pitchers is bleak as they all figure to have an ERA north of 4.40. And in a hitter-friendly park like Great American Ball Park, that figures to be no Bueno.
Another issue the Reds have is their bullpen. The closer for this season figures to be Amir Garrett. Last season, Garrett converted on a grand total of one save with an ERA of 2.45. He’s projected for 16 saves this season, so that’s a positive, but Lucas Sims and Sean Doolittle might cut into his save opportunities.
Reds 2021 Predictions
FanGraphs projects Cincinnati finish this year with a record of 77-85, which would be good enough for third spot in the NL Central. This would put them “under” their season win total of 82.5. And to be completely honest, this is one of the team totals I already have money on. The only legitimate way I see the Reds winning any game is in a high-scoring game, where they can outscore the opponents. If they need to rely on a pitcher to hold the opponents to fewer than three runs, I like my chances that it’s not going to happen.
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