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MLB Betting – Cincinnati Reds 2020 Season Preview

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/28/2020

  • Reds are listed at 40-1 odds to win World Series

  • The Reds sacrificed defense for power with the signings of Moose and Castellanos

  • Raisel Iglesias saved 34 games, tied for fifth in MLB

  • Bookmaker offering a generous welcome bonus with a $1000 maximum

No longer the Big Ded Machine, the Cincinnati Reds made strides last season leading up to what could be a run at the wide-open NL Central in 2020. There was nowhere to go but up after winning no more than 68 games and finishing last in the division for four consecutive seasons before breaking through with 75 wins and a fourth-place showing in 2019. The Reds were active during the offseason attempting to bolster an offense that struggled. And the organization is hopeful it gets a chance to flaunt its revamped roster this year.

2020 Cincinnati Reds At A Glance

Cincinnati Reds World Series Odds +4007

Cincinnati Reds NL Pennant Odds +1890

Cincinnati Reds NL Central Odds +248

2020 Cincinnati Reds Overview

Wouldn’t you know it, just when the Reds looked ready to build off their 75-87 record a season ago the entire campaign is in jeopardy over the coronavirus outbreak. At least they did their part and were active over the winter signing Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos to free agent contracts. The duo is expected to help an offense that ranked in the bottom third in MLB in runs, average, slugging and on-base percentage.

In order to return to the top of the division and potentially earn their first playoff berth since 2013, the Reds need to have everyone on the same page at the same time. In 2017 and 2018 they were eighth in the NL in runs scored and last in runs allowed. Last year they allowed the third-fewest runs, but scored the fourth-fewest.

The Reds sacrificed defense for power with the signings of Moose and Castellanos. The move could turn out to be huge since they lost a MLB-high 33 one-run games last year. It could also backfire since a poor defensive team likely got worse. The staff worked around a lot of the fielding miscues and will need to do so again for the Reds to have any chance of moving up the NL Central ladder.

Pitching

A strong top of the rotation and a solid back end of the bullpen is what helped the Reds amass the eighth-best ERA last season. A repeat of 2019 from Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray gives Cincy a top 1-2 punch. Castillo emerged as the ace with a devastating changeup. He went 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA fanning 226 hitters in 190.2 innings. Gray found a home after a fiasco in New York going 11-8 with a sparkling 2.87 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.

Trevor Bauer has been inconsistent the last few years, but when he’s right he’s tough to beat. He was 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts after coming over from Cleveland. A return to past form gives the Reds a strong presence in the middle of the rotation. Injury free for the first time in a few years, Anthony DeSclafani holds up the bottom of the rotation along with newcomer Wade Miley, who won 14 games for the Astros.

Raisel Iglesias saved 34 games, tied for fifth in MLB, but his other numbers were concerning for a closer. He lost 12 games with a 4.16 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He handled the role successfully the previous two seasons so there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again. Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen will be the primary setup men and after that it’s pitcher by committee.

Hitting

Struggles at the dish could be traced to declining production from Joey Votto and below average production from just about everyone else on the roster. That was the impetus for the big free agent contracts to Moustakas and Castellanos. Votto’s numbers dropped for a second straight year and there’s little hope for a rebound now that he turned 36. The Reds are hoping Eugenio Suarez continues his assault on opposing pitchers. He was second in MLB with 49 homers but led all hitters by striking out 189 times.

If Votto has one last hurrah, Suarez continues mashing the ball, and Moustakas and Castellanos do what they were brought over for, the Reds have a potentially potent lineup. Shogo Akiyama doesn’t whiff that often helping the team’s contact rate. Top prospect Nick Senzel dealt with injuries that limited him to 375 at-bats, but he hit 12 homers in that span. Aristides Aquino is also a talent who could move to first if Votto continues to slump. Aquino hit 19 homers in 56 games.

2020 Cincinnati Reds Season Pick

The Reds had the best offseason of any NL Central club and they did improve, at least on paper. I can see them challenging the big boys in the division. However, a suspect defense and fragile bullpen will undermine all the front office maneuvering. Their odds to win the division are low, a sign of how competitive it will be. They are a high risk/high reward wager and I’m not ready to take that risk.

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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