Cincinnati Reds could be among the favorites in giant tournament

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Jeff Passan of ESPN suggested that a giant playoff could replace the 2020 season. I like the Cincinnati Reds chances if such an event occurs.

Now, before we get too deep into this, let me be clear. I fully expect the 2020 Major League Baseball season to begin in coming. However, Jeff Passan of ESPN suggests that a giant playoff could be entertained if a second wave of coronavirus threatened to shut down the country again. If that were to happen, I like the Cincinnati Reds odds.

So, what might a giant playoff in 2020 look like? Well, Passan suggested a World Cup-Style format with six hubs and five teams per hub. So, let’s just say the NL Central is a hub, okay? Passan then suggests that each team play a four-game series against each team and the two teams from each hub with the Beest record would advance. Are you with me so far?

Passan then surmises that the remaining 12 teams be whittled down to 10 through a round-robin format which would then lead into the Wild Card round, followed by the Division Championship and League Championship series that we’re all accustomed to. The tournament would then culminate with a seven-game World Series.

So, again, while I think this is a stretch, Passan is adamant that every possibility to have baseball return is on the table, including an all-inclusive playoff. His suggested format would gauranteee every team at least 24 games and March Madness feel would be like anything we’d ever seen. If a 30-team playoff format is how baseball is played during 2020, I really like the Cincinnati Reds chances.

Can you find a better rotation throughout the National League? With Noah Syndergaard on the shelf, the New York Mets are out of the running. The only team in the NL that poses a threat to the Reds in terms of pitching superiority is the reigning champs, the Washington Nationals.

That said, I might give the Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Wade Miley, Anthony DeSclafani and Trevor Bauer the edge over Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Anibal Sanchez and Patrick Corbin. The Nats frontline starters might have the edge over La Piedra and Gray, but I’ll take Bauer and Disco over Sanchez and Corbin every day of the week.

When you consider the Reds roster, their lineup has the potential to be one of the best in the National League as well. The additions of Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama offer a lot of help to a Cincinnati offense that struggled last season.

The delayed season would allow Eugenio Suárez and Nick Senzel to return healthy. Both players look to be key to the Reds success in 2020. If Cincinnati could get the very best of Joey Votto for a two-month period, the Reds could be a dangerous participant in a 30-team playoff.

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While I think a shortened-season is much more likely than a giant playoff, it’s fun to think about. The Reds bats and arms are perfectly set up for short-term run, and with so much uncertainty surrounding the futures of Castellanos, Bauer and DeSclafani going into next year, an all-out run towards a 30-team tournament would be highly entertaining.