Chicago Cubs: Predicting the standings in the National League Central
Fifth Place: Cincinnati Reds
In an off-season filled with free-agent help, the Cincinatti Reds signed…
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Drew Storen, Scott Feldman and Arismendy Alcantara. No offense, but those are not top-level players. And, the Reds need help. In the worst way.
In 2016, the team ranked in the top 15 in two MLB statistical areas: stolen bases (2nd, 139), and left on-base (2nd, 1014). All other categories were 16th or lower, many in the mid-20’s. Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton, and Adam Duvall will lead the charge offensively, hoping for contributions from the rest of the team. They were shut out 10 times last season, and lost 11 games in a row at one point.
Pitching was the Achilles heel of the Reds in 2016. The team finished with an ERA of 4.91, second-worst in MLB. They also only completed 28 saves. Manager Bryan Price may turn to Raisel Iglesias to close out games. The once-starter now-reliever was a bright spot on the staff.
What the experts say:
Bleacher Report: 67-95, fourth place
ESPN: 73-89, fifth place
Fangraphs: 69-93, fifth place
SB Nation: fifth Place
Sports Illustrated (March 27 issue): fifth place
Sporting News (2017 Baseball Preview issue): fifth place
USA Today: 66-96, fifth place