Cincinnati Reds have winning record against three opponents in 2017

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds have a winning record against three teams in 2017.

In 2016 the Cincinnati Reds had winning records against four teams.  They had winning records against the Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, and Philadelphia Phillies in 2016.  In 2017 the Reds had winning records against the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and San Francisco Giants.

The good news is that the Reds are clearly ahead of the Phillies in the rebuild.  In five years these two teams should be facing each other in the National League Championship Series.  The Reds appear on a better trajectory than the Phillies, but the Phillies possess better starting pitching talent.

They say that you see the same people on the way up and the way down.  In this case the Giants are those people.  They felt ready to compete for the NL West this season, but ended up falling apart.

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The Pirates are an interesting case.  The question is whether the Pirates are on their way back up or about to go down.  The Reds have not overtaken them, but that is the team that the Reds will overtake first, having already cost them a chance at the playoffs.

The Reds need to make continual approvement in order to end the rebuild.  The steps forward need to happen.  Right now, the team is still moving backwards.

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Two of the teams that the Cincinnati Reds beat consistently last season are in the playoff hunt this season.

Last season the Reds looked better than the Brewers.  The Brewers replaced high strikeout batter Chris Carter with Korean import Eric Thames at first and let their young pitchers go to work.  The result has been a run at the NL Wild Card.

The Colorado Rockies can tell a similar story.  Their big off-season move was to sign Ian Desmond as their first baseman.  

He has missed much of the season on the DL, but the Rockies are still in NL Wild Card chase as well.

The disconcerting case is that of the Braves.  The Reds looked a step ahead of the Braves in the rebuild mode last year.  This year the Braves looked more competitive than the Reds before ultimately waving the white flag by trading Brandon Phillips to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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The Reds are slowly coming out of the rebuild.  They are ahead of the Phillies and slowly improving.  The Reds, however, need to take more steps forward before we get to 2018.