MLB Playoffs preview: Reds and Braves battle to advance to NLDS

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run double in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run double in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds prepares to bat against the Atlanta Braves.
CINCINNATI, OH – APRIL 25: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds prepares to bat against the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Now is the time for the Reds to get Joey Votto to the World Series

There’s not much else Joey Votto can do for the Cincinnati Reds. During his 14 years in the Queen City, he’s won an MVP, a Gold Glove and earned six All-Star selections. Votto has led the league in doubles, slugging, OPS twice, walks four times and on-base percentage seven times. It goes without saying he’s one of the greatest Reds ever, but something’s missing.

When Reds Country discusses the greatest players in franchise history, you’ll hear the usual suspects such as Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin. Joey Votto belongs in the same conversation, however, they all have one thing Votto does not and that’s a World Series ring.

This will be Votto’s fourth trip to the MLB Playoffs and for those keeping score at home, that’s twice as many times as Barry Larkin did during his 19 year Reds career. Unlike Larkin, Votto has yet to have his shining moment in the postseason. One series has drastically altered the way Votto’s career has been remembered.

Of course, it always comes back to the Reds epic collapse during the 2012 Division Series loss to the San Francisco Giants. But if the Cincinnati Reds had won that series, Joey Votto’s legend would never be questioned. This is the part of Votto’s story his detractors seem to forget. On July 17th of that year, Votto went on the disabled list with a torn meniscus. He came back on September 4th, but it was obvious he wasn’t at 100%.

Playing on essentially one leg, Joey Votto nearly carried the Reds to the NLCS. Hitting .389 with a .500 OBP, Votto did everything humanly possibly he could during that five-game series, but it was not meant to be. This may be his last chance. Let’s get the GOAT the ring he so richly deserves.

Prediction

I may a little biased, but to me, this is by far the most intriguing matchup during the first round.  You have the powerful hitting and questionable rotation of the Atlanta Braves against the anemic hitting and sparkling rotation of the Cincinnati Reds. It will be a series of contrasts.

Next. 5 bold predictions for the Reds postseason

The old baseball adage is that good pitching stops good hitting, especially in the MLB Playoffs. Look for that to ring true once again as the Reds win the series in three games and advance in the playoffs for the first time since 1995.