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

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Benches clear after Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds slides safely into home base to score on a wild pitch. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Benches clear after Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds slides safely into home base to score on a wild pitch. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds runs to home base to score.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JUNE 26: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds runs to home base to score. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Rookie second baseman has been a revelation for the Reds.

What more can you say about Jonathan India? As spring training opened this year, the chances of him making the Opening Day roster appeared to be slim to none, at best. However, the former first-rounder out of the University of Florida could not be stopped at the plate in Goodyear, AZ, and it’s continued into his rookie campaign in the big leagues.

Since moving into the leadoff spot in the batting order, he’s been the best to occupy the spot since Shin-Soo Choo was a member of the Reds in 2013. In 40 games at the top of the order, India has produced an incredible .433 on-base percentage and scored 32 runs. When leading off the game, he’s been even better, compiling an unimaginable .525 OBP.

Currently, India ranks fourth in the National League in OBP and eighth in base on balls. So how is the former third baseman adjusting to second base? India leads NL second baseman in putouts and ranks fourth in assists. Not too shabby.

Cincinnati has not had a Rookie of the Year since reliever Scott Williamson took home the prize for his 1999 debut season, and a Reds position player hasn’t won the award since Chris Sabo in 1988.  Battling the likes of fellow rookies Ian Anderson, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Trevor Rogers, there’s no doubt India has plenty of competition for bragging rights. However, no rookie has impacted his club the way India’s play has ignited the Reds’ offense.

Prediction

The Reds need this series in the worst way. Dropping five of six to open the homestand is an absolute nightmare. Thankfully, the Cardinals are coming to town to ease the Redlegs’ troubles.

Next. Jose Barrero is ready for the big leagues

Cincinnati has a decisive advantage in the pitching matchups for each game of this series. Expect to see manager David Bell ride his starters as long as humanly possible to reduce exposing his suspect bullpen. Let’s be bold! Look for the Reds to sweep the Cardinals and head to Chicago to face the Cubs with newfound momentum.