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The Most Important Week (so far) For Cincinnati Reds
The sports writing world is filled with hyperbole. People are constantly drawn to headlines about how someone made the greatest catch ever, or a certain player being the key to a team’s future success. If possible, I try to avoid hyperbole in my writing and keep things more grounded in reality.
With that said, this is the most important week of the 2021 Reds season (so far).
By the end of this week, fans will have a better understanding of what we can expect for the remainder of the year. Starting tonight, we’ll be going into a seven game stretch against the Cubs and the Cardinals. At the end of this stretch is the trade deadline. We’re 6.5 games behind the first place Brewers but only a respective 1.5 and 2.5 games in front of the Cardinals and Cubs.
If the Reds Win This Week
There’s a universe out there where the Reds go on a wild and entertaining winning streak, sweeping both rivals. As we come cruising into the trade deadline, the NL Central is essentially a two way race between us and the Brewers, and it is much easier to make the case to add talent at the trade deadline and make a push for the playoffs.
If the Reds Lose This Week
There’s also a universe out there where the Reds go on a crushing losing streak, getting swept twice in a row. In this darkest timeline, we’d be in fourth place and five games below .500. In this scenario, it will be very hard to make the case to trade for reinforcements. We may even see favorite players get traded, triggering fans to emotionally plan for another rebuild.
If the Reds Go .500 This Week
Finally, there’s also a universe where we play roughly .500 ball, winning 3-5 out of the seven games. This situation is tricky, because we would have gained very little ground moving into the trade deadline. It’s highly likely that the Reds will be content to stay put with the current roster and won’t make any significant trades. Over the course of the rest of the season, we’ll probably see first place continue to get further and further away, as fans complain about what could have been if we’d only traded for Trevor Story and reliable relievers.
This has been a fun season. This has been a frustrating season. There have been moments where fans have gotten a glimpse of what Cincinnati could look like if we fixed what’s wrong with our roster. We’ve also had glimpses of how bad things can get if we do not. The 2021 Reds have the makings of an incredibly competitive team, but its weaknesses are simply too debilitating right now.
The Reds need to make the case to the front office and ownership that it’s time to add talent to the roster and make a push for the postseason.
And they have one week to do it.
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