Reds vs Cardinals: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 4: Fans get ready for the opening day game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 4: Fans get ready for the opening day game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Jonathan India #71 of the Cincinnati Reds prepares for a spring training game.
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – MARCH 03: Jonathan India #71 of the Cincinnati Reds, prepares for a spring training game. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Jonathan India looks to make his Reds debut.

All signs indicate the Reds will have three of their former first-round picks in the Opening Day starting lineup and a fourth waiting in the wings to take his place behind the dish. Expect to see Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, and Jonathan India take the field behind Luis Castillo on Thursday afternoon.

Over the weekend, look for rookie catcher Tyler Stephenson to receive a starting nod as the Redlegs attempt to blend youth with a veteran core consisting of Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Nick Castellanos, and Mike Moustakas. If the Cincinnati Reds can stay healthy, they have the potential to field one of their most exciting lineups in years.

Before you say it, let’s be honest, there’s no way the Reds will hit .212 as a team again like they did during the shortened 2020 season. The Reds were the worst-hitting team in the National League last year. However, there’s every reason to believe history will not repeat itself.

It’s safe to assume Votto, Suarez, Senzel, and Castellanos will not hit .226 or worse as each of them did last year. As a matter of fact, Winker was the only regular to eclipse the .245 mark throughout the 2020 campaign. Look for the Redlegs to dent the plate early and often in 2021.

Prediction

The Reds and slow starts go together like Skyline chili and cheese. There’s no need to rehash the dismal beginnings of the last three campaigns. It’s a new year and a time for optimism throughout Reds Country.

Next. 3 things to watch for on Opening Day

Look for Luis Castillo to best Jack Flaherty, and the Reds will once again pound Adam Wainwright into submission as they begin the 2021 season, taking two of three from their division rivals.  Without further ado, play ball.