USA Today projected win total spells doom for the Reds 2022 season

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) takes a deep breath during a spring training game.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) takes a deep breath during a spring training game. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

USA Today projected win totals for every Major League Baseball team during the upcoming season. The publication predicts the Cincinnati Reds to finish the 2022 season with a 72-90 record and finish fourth in the National League Central Division.

The newspaper predicts the Milwaukee Brewers (90-72) will take home the division crown, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals (89-73), Chicago Cubs (75-87, Reds (70-92), and the Pittsburgh Pirates (60-102). The Buccos, along with the Baltimore Orioles and the Arizona Diamondbacks, are the only teams projected to loss 100-plus games in 2022.

The Reds are projected to finish the 2022 season at 72-90.

Given all the subtractions from the Cincinnati Reds roster that finished 83-79 in 2021, it's not surprising that USA Today predicted the Redlegs to finish below .500. Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez, Sonny Gray, Amir Garrett, Michael Lorenzen, Wade Miley, Mychal Givens, and Tucker Barnhart are all playing elsewhere in 2022.

However, all hope is not lost. Joey Votto is back for another season in Cincinnati. Reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jonathan India will be looking to make some noise in 2022. And last year's rookie Tyler Stephenson will be the Reds unquestioned starter behind the plate.

The Reds also have some key players returning from injury in 2022. Nick Senzel and Mike Moustakas, both of whom missed over two-thirds of the 2021 season due to injury, look ready to begin the season. Both Senzel and Moose missed significant time during the truncated 2020 season as well.

The Cincinnati Reds have a pair of young rookies who appear ready to make their major league debuts in the starting rotation when the Opening Day roster is finalized. Both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo seem poised to take their spots alongside Tyler Mahle, Vladimir Gutierrez, and a fifth starting pitcher.

Projecting the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster 3.0. dark. Next

So, while USA Today may have already torpedoed the Cincinnati Reds 2022 season, the players and coaches have 162 games to prove the so-called experts wrong. I don't think the 72-win prediction is too far off based on the talent that Cincinnati lost, but they play the games for a reason. This year's squad might take the role of underdog as an insult. Let's hope the naysayers are wrong