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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Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with Nick Castellanos #2 after hitting the game-winning double.
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 11: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with Nick Castellanos #2 after hitting the game-winning double. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

5. The Reds win their first-round playoff matchup.

If the Cincinnati Reds get to a best-of-three series, which is the format for the first-round of the 2020 postseason, I like their chances. For a team to be able to send out Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo in three straight games is almost unfair. While the Reds have some ground to make up in the Wild Card and NL Central races, this team is built for a three-game series.

Heck, I even like the Reds chances in a seven-game series. That just means that we’d see the trio of Gray, Bauer and Castillo more than once should a playoff series go the distance. The Reds starting rotation, and, even though they haven’t shown it, offense is tailor-made for the postseason.

The trick for the Reds will be making a run at the postseason. Currently Cincinnati is out of the picture. The Reds are third in the NL Central, but trail the St. Louis Cardinals by just two games and are five games back of the Chicago Cubs.

All the Reds need to do in order to secure a playoff is outlast the Cardinals whose schedule over the final month will be brutal with the addition of multiple doubleheaders in order to offset the team postponing several games due to concerns over the coronavirus. Cincinnati plays St. Louis five times over the next two-plus weeks and must win at least three of those games.

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If the Reds cannot overcome the Cardinals lead, then Cincinnati still has the Wild Card. The Philadelphia Phillies currently occupy the final playoff spot and have a one-game lead over the Redlegs. This team is too talented not to make the playoffs. Period!