Will the Cincinnati Reds Win National League in 2022?
The Cincinnati Reds were one of the better teams in the National League last season as they finished third in the NL Central with an 83-79 record. They have a solid chance of being great this upcoming season. We will dive into exactly why the Cincinnati Reds should be one of the favorites in the National League.
MLB is currently in the middle of a lockout, and a handful of impactful free agents are available. However, looking at how they currently stack up, let’s dive into the Reds compared to the rest of the N.L.
Their Offense Has Dominated
The Cincinnati Reds were a dominant offensive team this past season as they were second in the National League with doubles (295), fourth in home runs (222), fourth in runs (786), second in batting average (.249), fourth in OBP (.328), third in slugging (.431), and second in OPS (.759) throughout the 2021 season.
It helps when you have solid hitters like right fielder Nick Castellanos, first baseman Joey Votto, third baseman Eugenio Suarez, left fielder Jesse Winker, and center fielder Tyler Naquin who can all drive in a lot of runners. They also have the reigning N.L. Rookie of the Year in second baseman Jonathan India that will continue to hit exceptionally well with more experience under his belt.
The offense will dominate as they get more experience and all of these guys are still critical parts of the team. Averaging 4.85 runs per game throughout the entire season means they will score enough runs to win games.
Get Pitching Help
The pitching staff is the biggest weakness for the Cincinnati Reds as the Reds were 10th of 15 National League teams with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Cincinnati’s starting pitchers threw the most innings (864 innings) out of their rotation and were seventh in the N.L. with a 4.03 ERA.
Without a doubt, the weakness of this roster is their bullpen as they were only ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals (5.08 ERA) as they finished with a 4.99 ERA. They also allowed the most home runs (92) from their bullpen in the N.L.
Cincy needs to step up in that department, and there are a solid number of options available in the free agent market with Kenley Jansen, Andrew Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Brad Hand, Dellin Betances, Jeurys Familia, Adam Ottavino, and Joe Kelly all still unsigned.
The Cincinnati Reds are built exceptionally well, but the only issue seems to be the back-end of the games inside of the bullpen for them. They currently have $105 million allocated to their major league roster for 2022, so there is some room to expand and continue to step up in the later innings. The back-end of the bullpen could use another arm but Justin Wilson, Amir Garrett, and Lucas Sims could be a decent group for an entire season with Luis Cessa being inserted into a multi-inning role.
All in all, expect the Reds to make the postseason in 2022 and be a good contender to win the National League pennant if they make another bullpen acquisition.
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