The playoffs are over a month away, and an intense race is forming for the last wildcard spot in the NL. We are here to show you why the Cincinnati Reds will make the 2023 MLB playoffs, and we will outline the reasons why it will happen.
The Cincinnati Reds are a team no one expected to make the playoffs. Yet, here they are, right in the thick of the playoff race. The Cincinnati Reds playoff odds are better at the moment than their odds to win the division, according to FanDuel. Regardless, they are only three games out of the race for the division crown. It makes this team even more exciting as they could miss out on the wildcard and still win the division. Curiously, the Reds did not trade away valued prospects in their pursuit of a playoff appearance.
They currently are 61-57 and sit a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs for the final wildcard spot. Additionally, they are 1 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants and four behind the Philadelphia Phillies.
There are scenarios where the Reds can make the playoffs in different variables. Today, we will outline three reasons why the Cincinnati Reds will make the 2023 MLB playoffs.
The Cincinnati Reds Have The Whole World in Their Hands
The Cincinnati Reds have the whole world in their hands. Hence, they can control their fate. The Reds will face the Cleveland Guardians for two and the Toronto Blue Jays for three before departing on a 10-game road trip to end the month.
The Reds will face the Diamondbacks for four games at Chase Field. Significantly, they are 3-0 against them this season. The Reds then travel to the Bay Area for three with the San Francisco Giants. Ultimately, they will look to do more against the Giants after splitting a four-game series with them earlier in the season at the Great American Ballpark.
The Reds will play a pivotal four-game series with the Cubs at home to start September. Therefore, they hope to win the season series as they currently lead 5-4. The Reds will welcome the Seattle Mariners next. Then, they will have a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, whom they are 4-3 against.
The Reds will then travel to Motown to face the Detroit Tigers for three before meeting the New York Mets for three at Queens. Next, they will welcome the Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates for their final six-game homestand before finishing the season with road games against the Cleveland Guardians and Cardinals.
The Reds have 15 games against teams that are not currently in the playoff race. Thus, they must take advantage of the situation and win some games.
The Cincinnati Reds Do The Little Things on Offense
The Cincinnati Reds are not the best-hitting team. Yes, they are 13th in batting average, seventh in on-base percentage, seventh in runs, 14th in home runs, and 15th in slugging percentage. But the true value of this team comes from their aggressive running on the basepaths. Therefore, it is not a surprise to anyone that the Reds are currently leading the majors in stolen bases. The Reds are also sixth in walks and third in triples.
Joey Votto is currently batting .214 with 13 home runs, 31 RBIs, and 18 runs. Meanwhile, Spencer Steer is hitting .270 with 18 home runs, 66 RBIs, and 56 runs. Elly De La Cruz is batting .265 with nine home runs, 25 RBIs, and 43 runs while leading the team with 17 stolen bases. Moreover, Matt Mclain has also performed exceptionally, with a batting average of .295 with 12 home runs, 40 RBIs, and 54 runs with nine stolen bases.
The Reds do all the little things that is indicative of a good team. Thus, it gives them the extra edge over other teams that are simply swinging for the fences and not doing much on the basepaths.
Defense Backs Up Pitching
The Reds do not have great pitching. Sadly, this might be their undoing. The Reds currently rank 26th in team ERA. Additionally, their starting rotation is 28th, while their bullpen is 17th. But the Reds were 27th in team ERA before the All-Star Break. However, they are 16th since the All-Star Break.
The Reds have quietly had a good defense to help back this team up. Significantly, they are 15th in the majors. McLain has a .994 fielding percentage when playing shortstop and a .987 fielding percentage when playing second base. De La Cruz has a .963 fielding percentage when playing shortstop and a ..986 fielding percentage when playing third base.
Both fielders have kept the infield clean and prevented opposing teams from capitalizing on mistakes. Therefore, they have become a significant reason why the Reds have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs. While the pitching remains inconsistent, the defense has the ability to carry this team across the finish line.