Cincinnati Reds are Team to Beat in NL
Johnny Cueto has inherited the role of team ace and has not missed a beat since. He is 17-6 with an ERA of 2.48, completely dominating the MLB and could end up with the NL Cy Young when all is said and done. behind him, Matt Latos, formerly of the San Diego Padres, has pitched very well as well posting an 11-4 record with a 3.84 ERA.
It isn't common place to have two potential Cy Young candidates on one pitching staff, however, with the way Chapman has been pitching all season, he certainly has a shot at taking the honor home. With 33 saves on the season, Chapman has put himself into a category above all other closers in baseball. He has amassed 113 strikeouts in only 64 innings of work....The dude throws heat. Period.
At the plate, the Reds were forced to sustain a high level of play without reigning NL MVP, Joey Votto as he took a stint to the DL midseason, and they didn't miss a beat. Ryan Ludwick (25 HR's) and Jay Bruce (28 HR's) picked up the power once Votto hit the DL and they have yet to slow down. Brandon Phillips has epitomized consistency, batting .300 for the season with 142 hits, 29 doubles, 15 homeruns and 71 RBI.
With a much improved bullpen and a pitching staff Dusty Baker can depend on, the Reds are the favorite to represent the NL in the World Series in October, especially as Votto begins to hit his stride. In 86 games this season, he is hitting .342 with 36 doubles, 14 homeruns and 49 RBI.
A dangerous lineup and a lethal bullpen are recipes for success. The Cincinnati Reds possess both.