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Not Much Hope in Cincinnati in 2016

Brandon Phillips Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds MLB

The Cincinnati Reds finished the 2015 in last place in the Central Division with a record of 64-98. When you finish four games back of the Milwaukee Brewers, you’re just a bad baseball club. There’s no way around it.

Sadly, the outlook is just as bleak for the upcoming campaign and there is little-to-no value when considering the Reds from a betting perspective this season.

The window on the Reds’ World Series aspiration are clearly over. The club made postseason appearances three times between 2010 and 2013 but they dropped from 90 wins in 2013 to 76 in 2014 and, finally, 64 last season. Online shop Bovada currently has Cincinnati’s win total posted at 70.5, but the question will be whether or not there is any real reason to believe this team is any better than last season’s 64-win club.

The Reds haven’t won a World Series title since 1990 and enter the season with +12500 odds in Fall Classic futures and are +5000 in National League Pennant odds – both of which are pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel. The Central is going to be, like it always is, one of the most competitive divisions in the league. The Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are the crème de la crème in the group with the Reds and Brewers falling off a steep cliff in terms of gulf in quality.

The lineup does boast Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton, so the foundation for some form of offense does exist. "Boast" is a bit of a stretch for Hamilton, but If the speedster could find any way to get on base consistently (.226 average, .274 on-base percentage last season), this could be cause for concern for opposing pitching. Sadly, Hamilton has not shown any ability to get on base and so the Reds scored the fifth-fewest runs in the bigs last season (640).

Beyond those three, and possibly the odd Jay Bruce home run, there isn’t much for opposing teams to worry about up and down this lineup. Devin Mesoraco, Eugenio Suarez and Zack Cosart don’t exactly strike fear into anyone.

Pitching is where things get slightly more intriguing. The Reds have some arms that may very well provide some betting value in a certain situations this season. Raisel Iglesias, Brandon Finnegan and Anthony DeSclafani are young and could be worth monitoring throughout the season. The Reds will be underdogs in a ton of games this season but those three have the talent to cash some tickets. DeSclafani in particular was pretty good in 2015, starting 31 games winning nine and posting a WAR of 3.2. Not bad numbers for a guy starting for a 64-win team.

Votto and Phillips are stars in this league but there is just not enough quality to go around in Cincy. This is a team that is firmly in rebuild mode but could provide some value in certain spots throughout the regular season, but as far as futures go, just stay away,

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2016 Cincinnati Reds Futures Odds
MarketOdds
World Series+12500
National League Pennant+5000
National League Central+3300
Win Totals70.5

Odds as of April 1 at Bovada

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