Cincinnati Reds: Five bold predictions for the second half of 2020 season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 27: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 27: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds runs to third base.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – AUGUST 25: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds runs to third base. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

3. Nick Castellanos bests Fernando Tatis Jr. to lead the NL in home runs.

Fernando Tatis Jr. might be the biggest name in baseball right now. What the San Diego Padres shortstop has done this season is quite impressive. Tatis Jr. currently the National League in home runs (13) and RBIs (30). Nick Castellanos currently trails the leader for the NL MVP by three homers and seven RBIs. He’s going to catch him in one of the two categories.

Castellanos has surpassed all my expectations. After signing a four-year/$64M contract last winter, most fans expected Castellanos to be a force in the middle of the lineup, but a defensive liability in right field. However, his defense has been better than expected, but it’s his bat that will help Castellanos overtake Tatis Jr. for the home run title by the end of September.

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What may be most impressive about Tatis Jr.’s numbers is that he’s doing the majority of damage in Petco Park which is known to be quite pitcher-friendly. Eight of Tatis Jr.’s have come at home. Castellanos hasn’t been picky, launching five homers at home and five on the road.

Castellanos, however, has the advantage of playing 17 of the final 30 games at home. Great American Ball Park is a launching pad for big flies during the heat of the summer, and there’s plenty of warm weather sticking around in the Ohio Valley. Castellanos obliterated a shot off the batter’s eye at Miller Park last night. Look for the slugger to continue his onslaught over the final month-plus of the 2020 season.