MLB Playoffs: Three role players who are crucial for the Reds to advance

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: Freddy Galvis #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: Freddy Galvis #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Curt Casali #12 of the Cincinnati Reds bats.
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 22: Curt Casali #12 of the Cincinnati Reds bats. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

3. Curt Casali should start Games 1 and 3 versus the Braves.

While he’s likely to get a break for Game 2, given the way Atlanta’s rotation is set up, Curt Casali is likely to draw the start for the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. With lefty Max Fried on the hill for the Braves, David Bell is likely to put the right-handed hitting Casali behind the plate. Casali has also worked well with Trevor Bauer this season, who is the Reds Game 1 starter.

Casali has broken out in a big way this season, and it’ll be very curious to see how the Reds handle their catching situation come the offseason. Casali is under team-control through next season, Tucker Barnhart has one year remaining on his contract and the young rookie, Tyler Stephenson has been most impressive in 2020.

But, back to the MLB Playoffs. Casali will undoubtedly get the call behind the plate in Game 1. With Bauer on the hill, having a catcher like Casali donning the tools of ignorance should give Bauer a lot of confidence, as the right-hander is likely to spin up several balls in the dirt. Casali is a master at getting his body between the ball and the backstop, allowing just three passed balls.

Next. Predicting the Reds playoff roster

Furthermore, Curt Casali has exploded offensively this season. Typically hitting in the No. 9 hole, Casali is hitting .224/.366/.500 with six home runs and eight RBIs on the season. Casali, who was teammates with Sonny Gray at Vanderbilt, is also likely to get the call behind the plate should there be a need for a Game 3.