Reds vs. Royals: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 19: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 19: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Nick Castellanos #2 and Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate after Winker hit a home run in the third inning.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – MAY 21: Nick Castellanos #2 and Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate after Winker hit a home run in the third inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Reds’ corner outfielders will make their All-Star debuts.

I’m not sure which one is Batman or Robin, but what I do know is both Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker are more than deserving in representing the National League in the starting lineup in next week’s All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver. The numbers speak for themselves.

Castellanos leads the NL with a .339 average, 182 total bases, 105 hits, and 44 extra-base hits, including a league-best 27 doubles. Additionally, he ranks third in bWAR, OBP, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. Suffice to say, Nick Castellanos has been everything the Reds hoped he would be and more when they signed him as a free agent before the 2020 season.

Jesse Winker has been pretty, pretty, pretty good himself. The left-handed slugger is slashing .310/.389/.565 with a career-high 19 home runs and 49 RBIs. Winker currently resides within the top five in the senior circuit in batting average, OBP, slugging, OPS+, runs, hits, total bases, and homers. Now would be a perfect time for general manager Nick Krall to discuss signing Da Wink to a contract extension.

Castellanos and Winker are the first Reds players to start an All-Star Game since Zack Cozart in 2017 and are the first pair of Reds to be in the starting lineup since Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto anchored the right side of the infield for the 2013 game. Finally, Castellanos and Winker are the first pair of Reds to start in the same outfield since Gus Bell and Frank Robinson accomplished the feat in 1956.

Reds vs Royals: Prediction

Coming off an impressive three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds can ill afford to let off the gas now. The Kansas City Royals are the perfect foil to help build additional momentum leading to a pivotal four-game series in Milwaukee this weekend.

5 draft prospects on the Reds shortlist. Next

Look for the Reds to take two of three from KC before heading north to battle the Beer Makers and putting a cap on the first half of the 2021 campaign. The All-Star break is a few short days away.