Schedule Bodes Well for Cincinnati Reds in NL Central Race

By Tim Letcher

The Cincinnati Reds were on their home field over the weekend, hosting a three-game series against the NL Central leaders, the St. Louis Cardinals, at Great American Ballpark.

Playing at home bodes well for the Reds. Cincinnati is 22-11 at home on the season, which is one of the better records in the league.

Cincinnati’s schedule is back-loaded with home games against the two other contending teams in the NL Central, the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds only have three road games left against the Cardinals, as well as three games in Pittsburgh. However, Cincinnati hosts the Pirates 10 times over the rest of the season, and they host St. Louis seven times. If Cincinnati can continue its winning ways at home, they should be in contention for the division title for the rest of the season.

The Reds have also dealt with their share of injuries during the 2013 campaign. Specifically, if starting pitcher Johnny Cueto and left fielder Ryan Ludwick to return and stay healthy, it would bolster Cincinnati’s chances to make the postseason.

The Reds’ starting pitchers have been the strong suit of the team in 2013. Cincinnati has not hit the ball like they are capable so far, but pitchers like Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake have stepped up their games, keeping the Reds in contention while the hitting works itself out.

With bats like Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce in the lineup, the Reds will start to pick up the offense at some point. It’s just a matter of when. And if the pitching and hitting come together at the same time, this team could make a run in October.

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