I’m afraid this might be a little dated, given the news we received over the weekend about Anthony DeSclafani’s health, but let’s forge ahead nonetheless.

It’s the time of year when everyone wants to make their projections about the upcoming 2017 season. I’m more than happy to join in on that conversation, as you’ll note:

Now that’s a bold prediction, eh?*

As it turns out, even analysts who aren’t hopeless Reds fans are making projections, and some of them are even somewhat optimistic about Cincinnati’s chances. Take, for example, Baseball Prospectus, who foresees the Reds tying with the Cardinals for fourth place in the NL Central, and only five games behind second place:

UPDATE: I see that the projection is slightly less-optimistic now, with the DeSclafani news baked in, I presume.

How about FanGraphs? Well, they also have the Reds in a tie for fourth place in their projected standings (tied with the Brew Crew), but FanGraphs only sees Cincinnati winning 70 games.

Finally, we have USA Today, which doesn’t use any fancy computers to make their projections. They talk to people who have eyeballs! And that’s enough for them!

Also, they are the least bullish on Cincinnati’s prospects. But they’re wrong, I tell you!

If USA Today can do it, so can we. (As a matter of fact, the tag line for this site should be “Anything USA Today can do, we can do better!”) In the comments section below, give me your prediction for the final regular season record of the Cincinnati Reds in 2017. After everyone has chimed in, I’ll tally them up, average them out, and proclaim the result to be The Official Redleg Nation 2017 Reds Projection or some other similarly-ludicrous title.

Talk to me, Nation.

*Fine print: Projected win total includes all victories from regular season and Cactus League spring training games.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 58 Comments

  1. My prediction: Pain.

    Seriously though, this Disco thing has me a little bummed. Can we go Wire-to-Wire ™ with 72 wins? That’s where I have us.

  2. 74-88 (not counting spring training, lol).

  3. 66 is way too low. Sorry USA Today – you’re wrong. But with Disco out my hopes for 81 or more have faded. I’m going with 76-86 for a realistic expectation, and proposing 85-77 as a best case without getting silly. That would include a healthy Mesoraco, no major injuries for the other seven starters, and solid development from at least two of Garrett, Reed, Stephenson and Romano.

  4. When I saw that “no fewer” than 81 wins tweet go up on Twitter, I noticed you hadn’t mentioned loses and figured you had an ace up your sleeve 🙂

    Despite myself, I’ll be something of an optimist and say 75-87 for the Reds in 2017 That’s based more on the rest of the Central Division except the Cubbies being in regression than it is on improvement from the Reds.

  5. Without Desclafani and Bailey. 73-89, bad first half followed by a .500 ish second half like last year. Good start to spring training for Rookie Davis, Sal Romano and Amir Garrett, the future is looking brighter. Although, If Desclafani has to have tommy john it’s shoots a big hole in the 2018 playoff hopes.

  6. I didn’t envision 81 wins even before Disco got hurt. 73-89.

  7. Unfortunately, I have to agree with FanGraphs 70-92.

  8. With Sal Romano winning the rookie of the year and cy young this year after his May call up, I see us North of 81 wins as Disco and Homer will add by the All Star Break where we are trading pitching and pieces to upgrade our playoff roster

    My only concern is what kind of flack we take when we want to nickname him Sudden Sal from O fans

  9. My expert prediction: 76-86

  10. 78-84 They’ll start hot, fade away to the all start break, get hot at the end of July just to fall shy of .500 in the last 2 weeks.

  11. 78 – 84. That’s my story & I’m stickin’ to it.

  12. Interesting that the Baseball Prospectus forecast shows the Cardinals having a higher batting average, OBP and SLG than the Reds. But they expect the Reds to score 32 more runs than the Cards. Maybe BHam gets to run for others when he doesn’t get on base?

    • Very interesting. Yes, I think you’re on the right track. Has to have something to do with Hamilton (and Peraza, perhaps).

  13. While still looking forward to the season… I’m not that optimistic about success. 71 Wins.

  14. 71-91

  15. With the recent injury to disco, I’ll lower my win guess from 86 to 77.

  16. 80 – 82. I have high hopes. (Whoops there goes another rubber tree plant…and another Cardinal loss)

  17. First half: 43-46
    Second half: 31-42
    Overall: 74-88

    • Do you see contributors from the 1st half being traded or perhaps young rotation pitchers running out of innings later in the season or both?

  18. With no real rotation (no DeSclafani, no Bailey until June), I’ll say 64-98. This could be the worst year ever. To expect Rookies (pun intended) to come up and anchor a rotation is a pipe dream. All will be on pitch limits. You can have your starters averaging 5 innings a game and be successful.
    I think the offense will be ok provided their isn’t any regression from some of the young players.
    The Reds have to hope they have no additional injuries. The team is way too thin at just about every position at the major league level, especially at SP.
    With out knowing how good or bad the other teams in the division are going to be, it is really a tough guess.
    Pittsburgh has no pitching either, so there is that.
    With some luck and IF they avoid the injury bug, they MIGHT get to 75 wins. That would be a major improvement.

  19. 78-84. Our pen is improved from last year. I think BH maintains his second half numbers. Votto remains Votto. Reed and Stephenson take a step forward. Garret or Aldeman exceeds the production from last year’s #5. Peraza dips a little but he and Dilson still outproduce Phillips. Cozart is a bit worse. Mez bounces back a bit. Suaerz improves and is slightly above average. Corner OFs better than last year with the addition of Winker.

  20. I’ll go 71-91, expecting less than 20 games started combined from DeSclafani and Bailey.

  21. Had you asked 48 hours ago, I would have suggested a very conservative 80-82 (i.e. more upside potential than down)

    Now, who knows? I’ll probably – and arbitrarily – end up trimming 4 wins or so off that. Depends on Disco’s MRI. If it’s a short (gad – given the Reds’ recent history, dare I say “normal”?) DL, then I’m back up to78-80.

    Even with a stabilized bullpen, in reality it comes down to character. Can a young team like this one find the resilience to come back when they find themselves three or more runs down after 4 to 5 innings? (There are, after all, likely to be a disproportionate number of 4-5 inning starts in the front part of the season given the untested rotation). If they can avoid finding themselves in that pit, then the bullpen might just pull them through.

    Separate question – haven’t been paying attention to the other clubs off-season. The BrewCrew are the BrewCrew, but why is the Parrot up and the Bird down?

  22. 87-75 or vice-versa

  23. FanGraphs Top 100 is up.

    Senzel – 30
    Garrett – 65
    Winker – 100

    My inner math major likes the symmetry.

    • Also, apparently Shed Long and Aristides Aquino were the only other Reds prospects in consideration for Top 100.

  24. There tends to be a consistent correlation between one’s winning percentage within the division and overall winning percentage.

    2016 Reds- 43% Division-42% overall

    The Reds were 33-43 in the division. The Reds went 4-15 against the Cubs and 29-28 against everyone else. My guess is they win a couple of more against the Cubs and 2 more (total) against everyone else….for a total of 37 wins in the Central.

    That should work out to about 76-77 wins overall.

  25. I’ll go with 73.

  26. Interleague is vs. AL East.
    4 games with Cleveland Indians
    76 games vs. NL Central.
    DeSclafani and Bailey on the DL for extended periods.
    32-49 the first 81 games, and 41-40 the second 81 games.
    That gives us 73-89, almost identical to last year in so many ways.
    Wasting away another year of Joey Votto’s prime.

  27. 85-77. Improved offense, improved bullpen(which lost a lot of games last year). Reds fade late in August after contending.

  28. Here’s my very unbiased predictions on why the Reds will easily surpass expectations in 2017 and will end the year with 85 wins:
    – Mez will rake at the plate for the 110 games he plays at catcher hitting .290/.350/.550
    – Suarez will hit 30 bombs
    – Hamilton will have an OBP of .360 and will steal 80 bases…and will be ESPN’s play of the day a record 10 times for his comic book hero defense
    – Schebler will play the full year in RF and will hit .300
    – Votto will match his offense from 2016 and will win a Gold Glove for his defense
    – Amir Garrett will join the starting rotation and will win the ROY award
    – Michael Lorenzen will be switched to the starting rotation and will win 20 games…and will hit 5 home runs ala Madison Bumgarner
    – Homer and Disco will recover from their injuries much quicker than anticipated and help lead the Red’s to the playoffs
    – Bryan Price will remain calm, cool, and collected during all interviews with the media

    • G-Man they’ll win 85 games if half those things come true. Impressive optimism sir!

  29. The Reds will avoid 90 losses with 75-87. The bullpen will be improved but there won’t be a lot of games for the closer to close on. The maturing of the young pitching will put off the Reds competing until 2019.

  30. I was pretty bullish on them before and with the injury news, well…. Ok, you all won’t like me much for saying it but 69-93… I haven’t simulated the season 100x in Diamond mind with my Reds projections and ZiPS projections for other teams yet though. I may post a revised projection after that. My gut says 69-93 though.

  31. Catcher Stuart Turner. What to do about him?
    Price says the Reds probably won’t carry 3 C’s now to open the season. Stuart is hitting .412/.500/.529, albeit a small sample size, and they are just spring training AB’s to boot. But this isn’t too shabby. But Stuart was a Rule V draft pick. If he doesn’t make the 25-man roster he’ll have to be returned to the Twins. If he continues to hit well in ST, not at a .400 clip, but around .300 or so, what do the Reds do?
    Stuart is a very good defensive C. The Reds don’t necessarily have good C depth above Okey and TStephenson at AAA and AA. Should the Reds give it a couple of weeks and see if there is a regression in his hitting, or contact the Twins now and start to get some trade talk going? If he is traded to the Reds he can then be sent to Louisville to start the year, if Mesoraco is going to be OK.

    • WV, the Old Cossack was wondering about and pondering the same dilema for the past week. Turner could make a nice platoon partner for Barnhart after Mesoraco departs after the 2018 season. I don’t see the 2017 season as a chance to compete for the playoffs, so what would really be lost by carrying Turner on the 25-man roster and working him in with sproadic playing time at catcher and 1B in addition to pinch hitting opportunities. He may fall flat on his face offensively during the regular season, but the Reds could cross that bridge if neccessary and take the kid northeast with them when camp breaks. Neither Okey nor Stephenson are obvious locks at the major league level as future prospects, so the Reds may need a stop gap at catcher for a season or two or three.

    • Turner hasn’t ever really hit anywhere. Although I think he could be an MLB catcher, I think he’ll always be that #2 kind of guy that pitchers like working with. What I don’t see is him ever being even a league-average hitter, even for a catcher. He does show some plate discipline though… I’m not that worried about it. If a trade can be worked out, great. The Reds do lack depth at C and I’m not convinced both our catchers will avoid at least one trip to the DL between them.

  32. Here are my two cents: 70-92.

  33. GEEZ ALMIGHTY!!! Amir Garrett and Sal Romano are looking like locks to begin the season in AAA with promotions pending as soon as one of the starters on the 25-man roster falters. Simply based on last seasons results and their performance during spring training this season, the Reds may have found their top-of-the-rotation starters they needed and they could control them both for the next 7 seasons. Of course the same could have been said about Reed last season, but Reed may yet pan out as a solid MLB starter. I’d like to see Stephenson get another shot as a starter at the major league level to begin the 2017 season, with a short leash in hand if his control problems continue to plague his efforts.

  34. Jesse Winker will almost certainly be headed to AAA after spring training. If he can find that power stroke at the plate, the Reds will have a future all star and silver slugger in the fold. If Winker fails to regain his power stroke, he should make a leadoff hitter extraordinaire, with Hamilton hitting 9th and Peraza hitting 2nd. Winker is every bit the on-base machine as Votto. I can’t wait to see Winker and Votto in the same lineup, as long as Winker isn’t hitting down in the order.

    • I share your enthusiasm for Garrett and Romano and Winker….I believe Garrett will soon prove he is the best healthy starter in the organization and Winker will be prove he is one of the top 5 hitters on the major league club…. Problem is if they are in AAA for April the schedule isn’t easy….Easily could see a 10-15 or 9-16 month…May is worse….This team wil have 17-19 wins and 34-36 losses by June 1. There won’t be many high leverage situations for Lorenzen and Iglesias.

      • The situation with Winker really can’t be avoided, unless there is an injury to Duvall or Schebler. The Reds simply need to found out what they have in their corner OF during the 1st half of the 2017 season. The only real problem with that scenario (and this falls under a ‘no matter what decision we make, it will be a very good decision’ problem umbrella) is if Duvall and Schebler build on their 2016 offensive performances, the Reds have 3 starting corner OF and only 2 positions for them on the major league roster.

        The situation with Garrett and Romano will work itself out rather quickly. Somebody(s) in the starting rotation will struggle or be injured during the first 4-6 weeks and the next-man-up rule will be implemented. Romano and garrett will undoubtedly have their own struggles, but I expect them to bwe able to work through those struggles and adjust at the major league level. The 2017 season will still be a proving ground for future seasons with success measured by future role determination rather than wins and losses.

        • What happens if Billy Hamilton is hitting .219 with an OBP of .299 on May 1? and .216/.301 on May 15?

          • I don’t know if that’s a rhetorical question or not, but I haven’t seen anything from Hamilton this spring that gives confidence that he will repeat his 2nd half performance from last season. Maybe he’s just knocking off the rust, but Hamilton’s defense keeps him in the starting lineup and he bats 9th if he isn’t getting on base.

  35. I’m not seeing much difference in the starting rotation from 2016 to 2017. I think the offense will be marginally better but the bullpen will eons better than the historically bad bullpen of last season. That should, in and of itself be good for 6-7 more wins, 75 wins (without having to count spring training!).

  36. The injuries to Homer and Disco and the continued uncertainty with a former franchise catcher means Reds’ fans will endure their third consecutive 90 loss season. The SP isn’t good enough….YET.
    Growing pains in 2017.

  37. 66-96

    Bold predictions:

    -Because the Reds don’t see their window starting until 2019 or 2020, IMO, someone not expected to be traded gets dealt this summer….Mesoraco. DeSclafani….maybe even Hamilton.

    -I enjoy a beer (responsibly) at GABP. The Reds, too, want to enjoy a beer….top prospect OF Seth Beer. They won’t mind “out-badding” the Padres for the no. 1 pick, if they can do so.

  38. Homer out, now Disco on the shelf for at least a month and I’ll say even longer so hard to get fired up. Another season to focus on the up and coming young players. Getting used to it.

  39. You guys convinced me that Suarez is on the verge of a very good hitting year. And that BHam may just have learned to get on base at a reasonable, if not, good clip. I like Schebler. With the potential of Mes chipping in some production, Peraza hitting for BP and Winker showing up some time this year, the offense could be much improved. The bullpen is obviously much better than last year’s historically worst.

    Yet, the remaining question is the starting pitching. The Straily trade was a good move, but I do not see a replacement to provide 200 innings of solid production. Bailey is already a huge question mark. Now Disco, the team’s #1 starter, is hurt. That leaves a hopeful #3 type starter, hope for an improved Finnegan and a bunch of either maybes or the next gen rookies.

    Unfortunately, I cannot project better than 69-93.

  40. 77-85; tough year, but sorting successfully completed.

  41. Not looking good.
    Do not know about Devin, Disco out for a long time (if surgery it could get ugly)
    A few days ago I was thinking 74 – 78 wins now 68 – 71 TOPS.
    Hope they do better, look forward to seeing them play at Coors field.
    (Reds and Bronco fan here).

  42. I guess the good thing with the shabby rotation is that if the pen follows through, the Reds really only need six innings out of them.

  43. 81-81
    Fairly optimistic, especially with Disco and Homer out some time.
    But, this is what I thought before Spring Training and I’m gonna stick to it.

  44. 60-102
    Nothing positive to mention so far in Spring I’ll stay negative until otherwise.

  45. 73-89….offense and pen will be better but starters are Scott (Corey) Feldman and the Lost Boys! Feldman isn’t really that good either. I’m still looking forward to all the young guys and seeing how they progress.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.


2017 Reds