The Reds are looking to capture the Ohio Cup for the first time since 2014.
It's been a while since the Ohio Cup has resided in the Queen City, and it can hardly be classified as a rivalry. Since 2015, Cleveland has dominated Cincinnati going 24-10 in their head-to-head meetings. As a matter of fact, the Cincinnati Reds have won just two series over that timespan.
The meetings have been so lopsided in the Guardians' favor, that the Reds have not won more than two consecutive games over the last seven seasons. Whether they're playing at Progressive Field or Great American Ball Park, it hasn't made much of a difference. Cincinnati is just 5-12 at GABP and has been swept three times since the 2015 campaign on their home turf.
However, some new blood in the Reds' lineup is perhaps the perfect antidote. Outfielder Tommy Pham has abused Cleveland pitching throughout his nine-year career. The Las Vegas native is slashing .290/.362/.516 with three round-trippers in 62 at-bats versus the Guardians.
Enough of the negativity. Anyone who watched the Reds battle the Braves over the weekend had to come away impressed. Additionally, it seems the Redlegs have made believers out of the folks at Baseball-Reference.
Granted it's extremely early, but Baseball-Reference currently gives Cincinnati a 54.4% chance of making the postseason. Considering where the hearts and minds of Reds Country were 30 days ago, let's take it.
Prediction: Reds vs. Guardians
A new look Reds ball club means a new chapter in the battle for the Ohio Cup. While Eugenio Suárez, Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Amir Garrett, and Sonny Gray many no longer be part of the rivalry, perhaps some of the new additions will have a chip on their shoulder heading into the series.
Let's be bold. Look for the Cincinnati Reds to sweep the brief two-game set against the Cleveland Guardians. Additionally, a victory today would be Cincinnati's third in their last four home openers.