We made predictions for win totals at the start of the season. It would be interesting to know what impact, if any, the last week or so had on our expectations. So here’s the question
Question: How many games will the Reds win in 2019?
Nick Carrington: The Reds win 82-84 games. They’ve had two significant injuries, Scooter Gennett and Alex Wood, but the potential problems were mitigated by Derek Dietrich and Tyler Mahle. That shows some depth, but I anticipate a few more injuries along the way that will test them. I’m not convinced the pitching staff is quite this good nor the offense quite as bad as they’ve been overall. Still, I think they are a solid team who got off to a terrible start, one that probably doomed their playoff chances.
Still, a lot could go right, causing them to win a few more games. Yasiel Puig, Jesse Winker, and Joey Votto probably end the season with better numbers than they have now. Nick Senzel should continue to grow. The pitching is good, even if they regress a little. I can squint and see 88 wins; I’m just not planning on everything going right.
Ashley Davis: The Reds will finish with 85 wins. This would surpass my preseason prediction of 82 wins, but after watching the improved pitching from a year ago, it’s very possible the Reds can reach that mark. We’re almost three months into the season and I think this is what the Reds are–a .500 team. They’ll have another win streak like the one that was just snapped Saturday, but they will lose some series as well. As of Saturday, the Reds would have to go 49-37 the rest of the way to reach 85 wins. They haven’t played to that kind of record yet, but the schedule does get easier. Twenty-two of the last 35 games are against teams that currently have losing records. If the Reds at least can continue playing the way they have been playing, there’s a chance to finish strong in 2019.
Chad Dotson: Before the season, I predicted 81 wins and I see no reason to change that prediction at this point. The Reds have been on one big losing streak and now we see they can go on a nice winning streak too (against good teams, no less!). The rest of the season has looked like a decent but flawed team being competitive most nights. Almost precisely what you’d expect from a .500 team.
But if they want to surprise me the rest of the way, I won’t complain.
Matt Habel: Prior to the season I predicted 78 wins and I am sticking to that. FanGraphs still only projects 79 wins even after this past week. Factoring out the slow start and this unexpected win streak, this team has showed they are about average. I go back to the strength of the division as a real barrier to 80+ wins for the entire year.
Bill Lack: Before the season, I predicted a 90-win season. I still think that it’s possible, though not probable. At this time last year, the Reds were hot also (winning 6 in a row and 8 of their last 10), but were still 31-45 (.407). Doesn’t this team (currently 36-39) seem much more than 5 wins better than last year’s squad?
To finish at 90 wins, the Reds would have to go 54-33 (.620) the rest of the season and despite the current hot streak, I don’t see them going 21 over .500 the remainder of the season, they’ve simply been too streaky. So, I’m going to back pedal a bit and predict an 85- or 86-win season, which would require them to play about .575 ball the rest of the way.
But this is very much dependent on what they do at the trading deadline. If they unload Puig, Gennett, Dietrich, or some other offensive piece for which they don’t really have a replacement, this number will be worse. Finishing .500 might even be in jeopardy. But if they add a solid offensive piece, which is the current rumor, then the 90-win season is back in play, maybe more. Dare we say Wild Card or even possibly the Division championship?