Milwaukee Brewers: Why the Cincinnati Reds won’t win the division


After staying in contention for most of the 2017 season, the Milwaukee Brewers appear ready to challenge for a playoff spot in 2018. One team they won’t have to worry about is the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cincinnati Reds finished 18 games behind the second place Milwaukee Brewers in 2017. They’ll probably do about as well in 2018 against a top-heavy NL Central division.

What’s new for the Reds?

Very little. Any team that’s lost 90+ games for three straight years deserves to stay together!  Their biggest move this off season was to add former Brewers reliever Jared Hughes.

They’re clearly banking on developing their current roster and building from within. Top prospect Nick Senzel will either make the team out of Spring Training or find his way to the Major League roster in the first few months of the season.

What’s going right in Cincinnati?

Well, their offense is impressive. Joey Votto continues to be one of the most underrated awesome hitters in the league, and they have a ton of power. They had six players blast 20+ homers in 2017, and five of them will be in the 2018 lineup. They’ll also add Senzel to their infield at some point in 2018. Their offense is very much real, and legitimately terrifying in their home park. Their 117 homers in the Great American Ballpark ranked seventh in the league in 2017.

Why don’t the Brewers have to worry about the Reds?

While the Cincinnati offense is solid, their pitching staff still needs upgrades. Other than closer Raisel Iglesias and reliever / possible starter Michael Lorenzen, there isn’t a pitcher on their staff who would make the Brewers.

Their rotation is lead by Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafini. Both are skilled, but Bailey has been rough since his surgery in 2015, and DeSclafani is coming off a major surgery. After Bailey and DeSclafani, the rotation gets ugly with a mix of mediocre prospects and journeymen.

16 different pitchers started for the Reds in 2017. Luis Castillo was by far the best of the bunch. In 15 Major League starts, Castillo posted a 3.12 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings of work. He also walked 32 and was tagged for 11 homers.

Will the Reds lose 90+ games again?

It certainly looks that way unless they discover six or seven quality pitchers between now and Opening Day. The Cincinnati Reds are developing their pitching staff and retooling their roster. However, they’re a long ways away from competing for a playoff spot. They’ll hit a ton of homers, but they’ll also give up about the same amount with their inexperienced bullpen and rotation. Castillo is an intriguing option, but other than that, there really isn’t much to worry about.

Next: Who was awesome in the Brewers first Spring Training game?

The Cincinnati Reds have an intriguing offense, but their pitching staff is so rough that it almost doesn’t matter. Until they can build a bullpen and figure out a five-man rotation, they’re not going to return to the playoffs or challenge for the division. The Milwaukee Brewers could get into a few slugfests with the Reds. However, the difference between the pitching staffs is so great, that it’s difficult to view games against the Reds as a concern.