Cincinnati Reds likely to play NL and AL Central opponents in 2020

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Alex Blandino #2 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Alex Blandino #2 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

While nothing is set in stone, it appears the framework for the 2020 season will pit the Cincinnati Reds against teams from the NL and AL Central only.

The Cincinnati Reds aren’t going to visit many teams outside the midwest during the 2020 season. If baseball is to be played this coming season, it sounds like teams will play their division foes as well as teams from the opposing league’s corresponding division. Long story short, the Reds will only play teams in the NL and AL Central in 2020.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Major League Baseball will hold a conference call with owners on Monday to discuss plans for the 2020 season which has been halted amid the coronavirus pandemic. If approved by the owners, the proposal will be presented to the player’s union on Tuesday. Wait a minute, don’t get too excited.

There’s still a few hurdles to deal with before the Player’s Association and the owners are likely to come to an agreement. Chief among the concerns will be money. According to Rosenthal, players will be asked to take a reduction in pay, most likely receiving a percentage of revenues from the 2020 season.

That’s, along with the safety of the players, will likely be the biggest sticking points in these upcoming negotiations. Back in March, the players already agreed to prorate their salaries for the upcoming season.

But, now onto the good news. If the season gets underway, we’ll likely see players take the field in early-July with hopes of getting in around 80 games. Rosenthal says the exact number has yet to be decided, but between 78-82 games is likely.

Furthermore, those games would be restricted to teams within one’s own division along with the teams from a corresponding division in the opposite league. That means Cincinnati would face teams from the NL Central and the AL Central.

So, the list of opponents for the Cincinnati Reds in 2020 would likely include the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates. A previous idea had floated the possibility of replacing the Pirates with the Atlanta Braves.

Another change for the upcoming season would be the playoff format. Instead of the standard 10 teams, look for MLB to increase the number of teams to 14, with seven teams per league and the top team in each league receiving an automatic trip to the divisional series. The other 12 teams would participate in the Wild Card Round with six best-of-three series.

Current Reds players drafted after Round 5. Next

Again, a few hurdles remain for the 2020 season to get underway, but this is the most concrete plan that has been laid out to date. Hopefully the players and the owners realize that the money, while important, is not as important as getting their product back on the field. If baseball can be the first sport to get back on television, they’ll have 100% of the sports-starved audience.