MLB Opening Day Countdown Series- Cincinnati Reds


Cincinnati Reds

2017 Record: (68-94) 5th in NL Central

Off Season Transactions:


Projected Starting Rotation:

  1. Homer Bailey- He used to be a really highly regarded prospect that it kind of all fell apart for. However, he flashes his old self every once in a while. From a DFS prospective, he will be someone who will be popular to stack against. He can get hit from both sides of the plate and I would personally look to target left handed hitters against him but righties are still viable. He is a ground ball pitcher so keep that in mind when considering him. This trait allows him to have games where an aggressive team at the plate can struggle vs him allow him to have good outing from time to time. Not someone who is really a huge strikeout guy so not sure I would really pitch him unless pitching on a given slate is weak.
  2. Louis Castillo- I love this guy. I think I pitched him every time he pitched last year. He has elite strikeout stuff and works best vs right handed hitters with almost a 30% K% vs that side of the plate. He can give up a home run here or there but I can chalk that up to him being young and also pitching in Cincy. If you feel like you have to take a hitter against him I would pick a lefty as that is who he is worse against but I wouldn’t recommend him. We got Castillo last year for cheap and I’m assuming we can get a discount to start the year, however at the end of the year I think he will be expensive. He is coming back from injury so not sure he starts the year off in the MLB but we will have to wait and see.
  3. Anthony DeSclafani- He missed all of last year with a UCL injury so we will have to go back into 2016 to see what he did. Also, not sure I will touch him pitching wise before I get to watch him pitch in real action first. Alright, so he isn’t a huge strikeout guy but does a decent job of keeping the ball on the ground and limit power against him. If you were wanting to attack him it would be a left-handed hitter as they have potential to poke one out of the park especially in Cincy. He might fall into the category of a guy you don’t pitch or pick hitters against.
  4. Brandon Finnegan- Was very good in 2016 at limiting hard contact and damage. He wasn’t a guy who had huge strikeout stuff though which limits his upside. A lot of the advanced stats were showing that he was getting better results vs left handed hitters than he really should have. He was also giving up almost 2 HR’s per 9 innings vs right handed hitters which is odd as he limits hard contact. I’m going to want to watch him pitch some games and get a bit of a 2018 sample size on him because I make decisions on him.
  5. Robert Stephenson- This guy is going to go way under the radar this year. I think we can win with him. I was pitching him last year in certain matchups. He has actually impressive secondary stuff that can be used and be very effective in the right matchups. He added a slider to go along with his changeup and curve. The slider that he added has close to a 25% swinging strike rate. To put that into perspective, Kulber’s slider sat at 28% last year. Stephenson gets beat up vs left handed hitters which makes some sense when you look at his arsenal of pitchers but he is actually very solid vs right handed hitters holding a 24% K% vs righties and has diminished hard contact and fly ball percentages vs them as well so realistically the left-handed hitters are skewing his standard results. We will have to revisit him in the right matchups.


They have some decent arms but as a group they are not going to be one I will avoid.

Starting Lineup:

  1. Billy Hamilton (OF)- He isn’t going to be a guy I personally roster all that much. He is obviously known for his amazing speed and that’s about all he has. He doesn’t get on base as much as I would like. He will have games where he hits a home run and steals a couple bases and goes for 30+ but when that is coming you will never be able to predict.
  2. Scooter Gennett (OF)- Most of you might remember him for the 4-homerun day and almost 100 fantasy points which is absolutely absurd. He came on real strong last year and I am a little hesitant to believe he really improved that much. He had a career high in average and a big power surge. I watched this guy for the Brewers for years and he was a platoon player so maybe the consistent playing time really helped him out, who knows. However, he is a guy you are going to want to target when he is facing right handed pitching and not left-handed pitchers. There is a reason he platooned in Milwaukee.
  3. Joey Votto (1B)- One of the best hitters in the game and is always in play on every slate.
  4. Adam Duvall (OF)- Had better numbers vs left handed pitching last year but the batted ball stats were very similar and actually got the ball up in the air better vs right handed pitching. I would prefer him vs left handed pitching but wouldn’t count him out vs a right-handed pitcher with his kind of power.
  5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)- Needed more of a sample vs left handed pitching last year but when he hit vs them he performed well hitting for power and driving in runs. He gets the ball in the air and had over a 40% hard contact rate vs lefties. I also wouldn’t rule him out vs a right-handed pitcher much like Duvall just because they both contain raw power.
  6. Scott Schebler (OF)- This dude smokes the ball. He has a lot of raw power so it doesn’t matter what handed pitcher he is playing he always has upside. Last year he actually hit better for average vs left handed pitching but had 1/4th the AB’s. I like him because he is usually a cheap OF who you can target in the right matchups and has massive upside, especially at home.
  7. Tucker Barnhart (C)- One of those guys who is a switch hitter but should just stick to hitting from the left side because he isn’t good batting righty. I’m only playing him vs right handed pitching. Wasn’t a guy who hit for much power but near the end of the year he was playing for a contract and really improved and started finding gaps and driving in runs. I’ll have to watch him and see if he can keep it up or if he goes back to normal now that he is inked up.
  8. Jose Peraza (SS)- Filling in for Zach Cozart and is someone I don’t think you’re going to want to roster frequently.

Playing Field:

Great American Ballpark

Ball Park Factor-3rd

A really great hitters ball park who gives a boost to the hitters and would really is a pain for pitchers.

“Must Knows” of the Cincinnati Reds going into 2018 MLB DFS:

It is always going to be tough to be consistently good when pitching in the Great American Ballpark, however, I think the Reds staff this year can have a couple guys like Castillo and potentially Stephenson who you can get in the right matchups at low ownership that can be very valuable pitching away from Cincy.