Following a sweep of the Miami Marlins, the Cincinnati Reds begin a road trip that will have them playing their next nine games away from GABP.
What a difference a week makes. Momentum is a powerful force and the Cincinnati Reds, following a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins, left the Queen City with some swagger back in their step as they set off on a nine-game stint away from home. To say this road trip is critical for setting the tone on the season would be an understatement.
Shortly after the 5-0 shutout victory against Miami on Thursday afternoon, the team boarded a flight with the first stop being south of the border in Monterrey for a two-games series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Technically, the Cincinnati Reds will be the home team.
Following those games with the Cards in Mexico, the team will stay out on the West Coast with a three-game series beginning next Monday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, then head down to San Diego later in the week for a four-game series with the Padres.
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All three teams that the Cincinnati Reds will face are legitimate contenders in the NL this season. The Cardinals, Dodgers, and Padres are a combined 25-16 to begin 2019. The upgraded Padres sport the best record in the National League at 9-5. The presence of Manny Machado, while only hitting .244 with 3 homers so far, is immediately being felt.
The Cardinals are always going to be a challenging, pesky opponent for the Reds. The Dodgers are always tough, even though the Reds went 6-1 against them last season. True to form, the Reds get Clayton Kershaw on the first game of the series.
The nemesis for the Cincinnati Reds always seems to be the San Diego Padres. As bad as the Padres have been, the Reds went 3-4 against them the last 3 seasons. It’s time to gain the upper hand against the Friars.
A nine-game road trip can be daunting for any club. The Cincinnati Reds need to find success in their first game against the Cardinals in order to set the tone for the remainder of the trip. There will be a lot of excitement in the air come Saturday night in Monterrey. If I had to predict, these teams will likely split this two-game series in front of what will be a fun and festive crowd.
Recent history against the Los Angeles Dodgers suggests that the Reds will compete well against them. With the manner in which the Reds’ arms are throwing thus far, coupled with the offense finally showing life, it would not surprise me to see the Reds take two of three from the Dodgers.
The final stop on road trip will be down I-5 to the play the upstart San Diego Padres for a four-game series. If nothing else, being in San Diego for four games instead of Pittsburgh for four games is a drastic upgrade in scenery!
One has to expect low scoring affairs in the cavernous Petco Park. While the pitching matchups have not been announced, the Cincinnati Reds staff should find favor in this series in spite of Machado being in that Padres lineup.
This is certainly an exciting road trip. The environment in Mexico will be challenging and fun, while the weather in both Los Angeles and San Diego will be pleasant and ideal for any baseball player. Who wouldn’t want to leave the likes of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh behind in April for a Mexico/Southern California road trip?
The Cincinnati Reds teams have crashed and burned many of times on these West Coast road trips through the years. However, there is something different about this 2019 edition of our beloved Reds. Having an above .500 record on this road trip would accomplish a lot in this early season for David Bell and the Reds.