Cincinnati Reds All-Star Game Predictions & Preview

Cincinnati Reds All-Star Game Predictions & Preview

Nick Pedone
3 years ago
3 min read
Cincinnati Reds All-Star Game Predictions & Preview

I love the All-Star Game. Yes it has problems. Yes it can be overrated. Yes the players on the team aren’t always reflective of the actual best players in the game.

The thing is, I just don’t care. I absolutely love the MLB All-Star Game. 

Every year, when I see the players line up on the field to be announced as All-Stars, I feel like a little kid again. It’s so exciting to see fan favorite players getting honored on the national stage. I remember a few years ago, jumping up and down cheering when I found out that Reds shortstop Zack Cozart just made the team (and also became the proud owner of a donkey at the same moment).  

Fan voting is underway for the 2021 All-Star game. In several weeks, we’ll find out which players from our favorite teams will be playing in Colorado during the Midsummer Classic. In the meantime, let’s look at who in the Queen City might be lining up on the field that evening. 

Well Duh… 

Sometimes it can be difficult to predict which player(s) will make the team. 

Other times, you have Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos. 

Holy cheese conies, are these two having a good year. Both have firmly inserted themselves into not only the All-Star conversation but also MVP talks. I was at Great American Ball Park just a few days ago, and the “MVP” chants when those two would take the field gave me chills. After a year of not being able to see a game, it’s moving to see Reds fans so excited. 

The excitement surrounding these two players is not undeserved. Let’s start by looking at Jesse Winker. Over the course of 56 games, he’s put up a .344/.418/.638 slash line, with an OPS of 1.032. Castellanos is nearly identical, with a slash line of .361/.416/.635.  

Let’s compare them to the rest of the league. Castellanos has the highest batting average in baseball, with Winker having the second highest. Winker is third in the National League in home runs (17), with Castellanos tied for twelfth (13).

Castellanos is second in the National League in hits (84), with Winker right behind him at third (76). Those are video game numbers.

What’s exciting is that their success appears to be sustainable. Indulge me by letting me nerd out for a moment. I’m going to talk about expected stats. Those are new metrics, built around a hitter’s quality of contact. It estimates the outcome of a batted ball-or series of batted balls-based on the actual outcomes of previous batted balls with the same launch angle and exit velocity.  

So, what are their expected stats? Based on their quality of contact, Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have expected respective slash lines of .320/.417/.592 and .331/.412/.584. In short, unless something dramatic happens, we can expect this level of production from them to continue. 

The question isn’t whether or not these two will make the All-Star team. At this point, it’s which one will receive more MVP votes. 

These two are the obvious All-Stars, but the Reds have one other player that could be a dark horse to make the team.  

The Dark Horse

Tejay Antone was a revelation during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He’s on the injured list right now, which definitely hurts his chances, but let’s take a look at his performance so far. He’s only thrown 32 innings, but he’s already good for 2.3 WAR (wins above replacement). Out of the bullpen, he’s been able to generate a higher WAR than Jesse Winker (2.0).  

Let’s compare him with other pitchers, though. ERA+ is a helpful metric for this exercise. It’s built on a scale where 100 is considered average. Antone’s ERA+ is a whopping 328, meaning that his results are 228 percent better than the average pitcher.  

That’s ridiculous. 

Unfortunately, making the team will be a challenge for Antone. Being on the IL, he has an uphill battle, and he’s facing steep competition. However, if he comes back quickly and continues dominating opposing hitters, he just might find himself in Colorado. 

Looking Forward 

Regardless of who makes the team from the Reds, I’m excited. 

The Midsummer Classic is on the way in all its glory. Before long, we can celebrate who made the team. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and what’s more fun than everyone’s favorite players taking the field together?   

Gosh darn it, I love the All-Star game.   

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