Cincinnati Reds: 5 Stats That Will Lead To A World Series Championship
Cincinnati Reds: 5 Stats That Will Lead to a Championship
When it comes to playoff competitors, the Cincinnati Reds are not the best team, but they may very well be the most well-rounded team. From top to bottom, the Reds definitely have a great team with incredible players on both sides of the ball. And while this is not the "Big Red Machine" from the 80's, this Cincinnati team certainly has the talent to win a championship.
On the offensive side of the baseball, Cincinnati boasts one of the best "heart of the lineups" not just of the playoff teams, but of the entire league. In fact, from spots three, four and five, there really is no team that gets as much production from the meat of the order than the Reds. And when it comes to working out the free pass, look no further than two Cincinnati players to lead the way.
But offense isn't the only reason why the Reds have been able to stay competitive in one of the toughest divisions in baseball in the NL Central. Their pitching has been pretty good, too.
Led by a starting staff that includes three pitchers with at least 14 wins and a closer who is one of the best in MLB and one of the best in the upcoming postseason, the Reds boast the talent from the mound and the plate to really put forth a great showing in the 2013 playoffs.
While offense and pitching have been good, there are five stats in particular that really put the Reds above and beyond the rest. Click through this slideshow to find out just what they are and then sound off with your own thoughts about why the Reds really do outclass the rest.
Shin Soo Choo's .424 OBP at Leadoff
One of the best advantages the Reds have is the fact that Shin Soo Choo is an incredible leadoff hitter. Not only is he second in MLB in walks with 111, but he also has 57 XBH which includes 21 HR. Most importantly, however, Choo's .424 OBP is the fourth best in the league. He has the best such mark of all leadoff hitters. For the Reds, having someone who gets on base as frequently as Shoo leading off is the perfect table setter.
5 Players With at Least 15 HR and 20 2B
You know that whole table setting thing I just mentioned? Well, this is why it is important.
The Reds are the only playoff team that has five players with at least 15 HR and 20 2B, and is also the only team that can boast three players with at least 20 HR and 30 2B. Two of these players, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, occupy the all-important heart of the order along with Brandon Phillips, who has 24 2B, 18 HR and 102 RBI.
Bruce paces all Reds players with 107 RBI, 42 2B and 30 HR. Votto is third on the team in doubles (30), second in HR (24), and second in runs (100).
Ultimately, this is a heart of the order that will be very fierce and very capable of run production. With Choo setting the table with his .424 OBP and Votto himself having a .434 OBP, the Reds' offense is going to be tough to beat.
While hitting extra base hits has brought the Reds a lot of success, it is only part of their game. Cincinnati also leads the NL in walks (574) and is second in MLB in the same category. The team's .328 OBP ranks fifth of the 10 playoff teams as well.
In order to even have the chance to score, you obviously have to get runners on base, and the Reds certainly do a great job of that. They are the only team to have two players, Votto and Choo, in the top five of OBP and, incredibly, the team also occupies the top two spots in MLB in walks with Votto first (132) and Choo second (111).
This team knows how to get on base, and it will only benefit them during the playoffs.
Opponents .235 BAA
Another aspect of the Reds' team that makes them tough to beat is their solid pitching staff. Starters and relievers combined have allowed opponents to bat just .235 against them, which is the best mark in the league. Their relievers have been even better, allowing opponents to hit just .216 against them.
Leading the starting staff are a trio of aces, each of which has won 14 games on the season. Of the likely playoff rotation, all of their starters have won double digit games, once again making them the only team that can have that claim.
Of the relievers, it is Aroldis Chapman that has stepped up. He leads all relievers on the team with a 2.54 ERA and 15.83 K/9. He has an incredible 112 SO in just 63.2 IP, and has successfully saved 38 games for Cincinnati this year. In fact, when it comes to playoff closers, Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves might be the only one you want on the mound more.
75 Errors and .988 FPCT
In addition to their offensive prowess and strong pitching staff, the Reds are also a pretty good team defensively. They have commited just 75 errors on the year, which ranks sixth in MLB and third among all playoff teams. Their team .988 fielding percentage is also sixth and third respectively.
Leading the way for the Reds is Votto, who has been one of MLB's best first basemen this season. He leads all at his position in assists and has a solid .990 fielding percentage.
Phillips is a perennial gold glove candidate and has put himself in position to win another this year. He leads all NL second basemen in assists, leads all league second baseman in putouts, and has the fifth best fielding percentage (.989) among all NL second basemen.
Moral of the story, the Reds do not give away many runs, and since outscoring them isn't really an option in most cases, this team is not one you want to face in the postseason.