Are The Reds Worth The +750 Price Tag To Win The NL Central?
Now that the trade deadline is behind us, all focus shifts to the postseason races as we approach the last third of the season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at where the Cincinnati Reds sit and whether their +750 odds to win the N.L. Central is a good bet or not.
How Have They Performed Thus Far?
At 55-50, the Reds have the second-best record in the N.L. Central and the sixth-best winning percentage in the National League. That puts them seven games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the division with just 57 games left to play.
In terms of the Wild Card, they sit on the outside looking in as they are four games behind the San Diego Padres for the second Wild Card spot.
One of the biggest problems for the Reds this season has been their home record. While they are a respectable 29-24 on the road, they have been just average at home with a 26-26 record.
They are 6-4 in their last 10 games and were 16-10 in the month of July, but they still have quite a bit of work to do to catch the Brewers in the division.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Reds have been one of the best teams in baseball this season. In terms of scoring, they rank seventh overall averaging 4.90 runs per game (5.38 at home versus 4.42 on the road).
They currently rank seventh in batting average (.251), eighth in slugging percentage (.421), and fourth in on base percentage (.331).
The problem is despite a fantastic offense, they still have a negative run differential. Ranking 15th overall, they are at -5, meaning they have still given up more runs than they have scored.
This is largely due to a really poor pitching staff that
ranks 21st in earned run average at 4.55 (5.11 at home). As a defense overall,
they rank 23rd in scoring defense allowing an average of 4.94 runs per game
(5.62 at home).
Trade Deadline Pickups?
The focus of the trade deadline for the Reds was to try to shore up a bullpen that ranked 29th in the majors with a 5.31 ERA. They were able to do that by adding a trio of relievers in Justin Wilson, Luis Cessa, and Mychal Givens.
They acquired Wilson and Cessa together in a deal with the New York Yankees for a player to be named later. Of the two, it is Luis Cessa that has been the stronger of the two players. The 29-year-old is currently 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA, 1.246 WHIP, and has 32 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.
For Wilson, he is currently 1-1 with a 7.11 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and has just 16 strikeouts in 19 innings. Still, with a career 3.43 ERA in 502 Major League games, the Reds are hoping the lefty can return to form.
In a deal with the Colorado Rockies, the Reds acquired Mychal Givens for a couple of minor league pitchers. Givens is only signed through the rest of this year but has been solid with a 3-2 record, 2.73 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, and 38 strikeouts in 31.2 innings pitched.
Luckily for Cincinnati, their schedule the remainder of the way isn’t too bad. In fact, of all 30 teams in MLB, they have the second-easiest remaining schedule as their opponents have a combined winning percentage of just .468.
Of their 57 games remaining, 30 of them are against the Pirates, Cubs, Nationals, and Marlins, teams that recently sold away significant parts of their roster at the trade deadline.
Their toughest matchups are three games apiece with the Brewers and Dodgers and a two-game series with the White Sox.
While they are 8-8 against the Brewers this season, they unfortunately only have three games remaining with them. As a result, not only are they going to have to have quite a good record in August and September, but they are also going to need to get some help from others.
The Brewers rank 16th in terms of strength of the remaining schedule as their opponents have a combined .501 winning percentage.
Are They Worth It At +1750?
On the plus side, it is a huge boost for the Reds that they have one of the easiest remaining schedules of any team in the majors. Especially with an easier schedule than the Brewers, it wouldn’t be shocking if they picked up some ground.
On the negative, they are a bit shorthanded. While Joey Votto has been on an absolute tear as of late, arguably their best hitter is on the sidelines in Nick Castellanos. This season, Castellanos is hitting .329/.383/.582 with 18 home runs, 59 runs batted in and 59 runs scored.
At the end of the day, seven games is just a lot of games to make up against a team that you will only see three more times. For that reason, their +750 odds may not be worth it.
While the division title might be a stretch, it is not one to think they can still make the playoffs. While they trail the Padres by four games in the Wild Card, San Diego suffered a huge blow recently as they put Fernando Tatis Jr. on the injured list again with a separated shoulder and San Diego has the 11th toughest strength of the remaining schedule.
Fangraphs currently puts the Reds with a 20.9 percent chance to make the playoffs this season, but those chances probably rely more on the Wild Card than a division crown.
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