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  • 04/05/2011, 01:15PM ET

WST - NL Central Winner

Rudedog: Believe The Hype (370-317-81) vs Mitch Cumstien (29-10-5)
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I'm obviously picking the Reds here.

First, let's look at some defense

The Reds have 3 Gold Glovers coming back this year: Bronson Arroyo (P), Scott Rolen (3B), and Brandon Phillips (2B). They also added Edgar Renteria, who was the WS MVP and a former Gold Glover himself.

In the outfield, you have Jonny Gomes (7 errors last season), Drew Stubbs (only 5 errors last season), and Jay Bruce (just 3 errors last season).

This isn't a team that's going to beat themselves. They are full of solid defenders and a team with tons of veterans and experience.

And when you look offensively, things are just as good.

Drew Stubbs is a 30-steal guy to lead off
Phillips has a nice mix of power and speed
Votto was MVP last year. 'Nough said
Rolen already has a home run to his credit this year
Jonny Gomes has a home run this year
Jay Bruce as your 6th hitter? Seriously? That's a deep lineup
Janish/Renteria are capable guys at the bottom of the lineup
Ramon Hernandez already showcased his hitting abilities opening day

I don't see how you could pick against this team. They won the division last year, made themselves better, and are off to a solid start this year.


I do see how you could pick against them this year, and thus starts the debate.

You state they made themselves better, however the Reds did little besides signing Renteria. While this was a good move to add veteran experience, Renteria is 35 and declining.

This is not the "Big Red Machine" it's the "Little Red Engine that Could"

Cinci last year made a living out of beating sub par teams in the NL Central. Outside of the weak central (where the Reds were 49-30), the Reds were 42-41, and against teams that finished .500 or better were 21-34.

So on to my Pick...
CHI no
STL no
PIT hell no

My pick to finish atop the NL Central is MIL.

The Brew crew struggled to say the least last year... Ever wonder why?

Very Simply: PITCHING!

During the offseason the Brewers Shored up the staff with Greinke (even though he had an off year last year, he is still a studd) and Marcum. The Brewers also added a Solid young reliever in Saito

This should be a BIG move towards a competitive pitching staff.

GL Rude!


Really? The Brewers? The 0-4 Brewers? The Brewers who were swept by the Reds opening weekend?

Now I realize that it is just one weekend, but it was a very important weekend. I mean, Saturday's game was never really close and Sunday's game wasn't either.

And the Reds are doing all this without their number 1 pitcher, Johnny Cueto. Much like the Brewers are down a man, so are the Reds. Yet, they are 3-0 and up 7-0 on the Astros as we speak.

As for Renteria, he's isn't going to be looked upon as the everyday SS. In fact, Janish will probably be the starter at short by the end of this season. Janish is a great young guy who has a great glove, something that I spoke about it common with the Reds.

The Reds back-ups are all solid too. Janish/Renteria will split time. Chris Heisey is a very good back-up for the outfield. And Hannigan/Hernandez split time behind the plate and both have went yard to start the season.

Honestly, I don't know what people see in the Brewers. The pitching isn't something that blows people away and their offense is much of the same.

The Reds are just deeper, more experienced, and flat out better


Ok so by your logic, the 4-0 Orioles are going to beat out the 0-4 Red Sox? Or maybe the Division leading Royals, or Mets are going to win it all? Perhaps the 1-4 Giants are one of the worst teams in baseball? Last year the Cardinals opened the season beating the Red 2 games to 1... Why don't we go ahead and base our argument on the first 5 games of a 162 game season?

Yes Cin is down their #1 Pitcher, So is Mil, however Mil is also down a starting RF as well, Cory Hart is a big part of this offense. With a .865ops 31HRs (1 behind the team lead) 102 RBIs (1 behind the team lead) last year, Heart is obviously missed thus far. When he is back, Braun, Fielder, McGehee, and Heart. Make up one hell of a middle lineup. That, and since we are gauging the entire season on the first 5 games, Ricky Weeks is on pace to hit 97 HRs this year (judge 5 games?)!

Fielder is on a contract year, so expect big things from him there, Also Braun had a down year (only 25 hrs after at least 32 in the three seasons prior), This is a team with a ton of Power, and now Finally some Real Solid Pitching.

And what Reds experience are you talking about? 1 playoff appearance (swept) in 10 years?
MMTC


What Reds experience? Are you crazy?

Scott Rolen - 16 years pro, WS champion
Ramon Hernandez - 13 years pro
Brandon Phillips - 10 years pro
Bronson Arroyo - 12 years pro, WS champion
Edgar Renteria - 16 years pro, WS champion
Miguel Cairo - 16 years pro

Experience is huge for these Reds.

Right now, the Reds are starting off fast, and that's a huge thing. The difference between them and the Orioles is this team is a proven team: they won the division last year and are building off of that this year. On the flip side, Milwaukee has looked pretty bad so far and their pitching, which you claim is a strength, has seriously let them down.

Excluding opening day, the Reds have outscored their opponents 24-6, albeit the Astros and Brewers. Right now is a great time for the Reds to put some distance between them and the rest of the division.

They have 2 more against the Astros and then play the Diamondbacks, who are 1-3. While the other teams in the division are struggling out of the gate, namely the Brewers and Cards, the Reds are starting strong and putting a lot of distance between them and those team.

The Reds are just too good to lose.


While it is commendable, that the Reds have done well in their first 5 games (and likely 6 it is Houston) They beat my Milwaukee team who is missing not only their Ace, but one of their top 3 offensive threats. Excluding the last game of the series the Run Differential for that series was 11-8 not exactly a beat down on an ailing team. Then you played Houston, who many before the season have predicted to be the last place team in the division (possibly the worst in the league).

Meanwhile, even though it took the Brewers a Series to figure it out, they then took 2 of 3 against a Braves team who is likely going to be contending for the NL East title, and many believe Winning it. All this without that Ace Pitcher, or offensive weapon.

Not many saw San Fran comming last year, And they don't see the Brewers comming this Year!

The Reds are simply back to their old ways, Beating the weak teams, and likely losing to the above average teams (only time will tell). While this will win them a lot of games, and likely a lot of bandwagon fans. It will not win them the Division, or Just like last year any playoff games.

Great TD Rude, GL!

April 5, 2011  01:15 PM ET

Forgot about this, so I started this to remember. Will post argument either between classes or this evening

April 5, 2011  01:18 PM ET

One Stop Shopping

All the TDs in the pennant races are here:
http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/817985

April 5, 2011  01:25 PM ET

Good luck to you both!

April 5, 2011  01:53 PM ET

Looking forward to it... GL Rude.

April 5, 2011  02:25 PM ET
QUOTE:

There is only one answer to this. I'm a little confused on the debate here. It should be something more like True or False the Reds will go undefeated this year.But thats a little one sided also since its obviously true.

all well and good, I suppose I know where your vote is going... well done sir.

April 5, 2011  02:26 PM ET
QUOTE:

There is only one answer to this. I'm a little confused on the debate here. It should be something more like True or False the Reds will go undefeated this year.But thats a little one sided also since its obviously true.

False.

160-2 is my final prediction

April 5, 2011  02:42 PM ET

Well done Rude, I'll get to this in a couple hours.

April 5, 2011  03:14 PM ET

Make me proud Sweetness!

April 5, 2011  03:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Make me proud Sweetness!

If anyone picks the Cubs, they should be banned from FanNation on general principles.

April 5, 2011  03:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

If anyone picks the Cubs, they should be banned from FanNation on general principles.

Probably, but all I read is BLAH BLAH BLAH

Rockies > Giants this year.

April 5, 2011  03:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

If anyone picks the Cubs, they should be banned from FanNation on general principles.

The Cubs aren't really that much of a stretch. And could honestly win the div this year, however I am being more realistic here.

April 5, 2011  03:54 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Probably, but all I read is BLAH BLAH BLAHRockies > Giants this year.

I forget. Which team is the reigning World Champions?

April 5, 2011  07:49 PM ET
QUOTE:

I liked the Brewers alot till they started off the season 0-3 against the REds.

This.

Will argue in a bit

April 5, 2011  08:34 PM ET

Dude, Saito is over 40 years old.

And I wasn't too impressed with him when he was on the Braves last season.

Martin Prado and Dan Uggla weren't impressed last night.

April 5, 2011  08:36 PM ET

The Astros at least deserve a hell no.

April 5, 2011  08:54 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Dude, Saito is over 40 years old.

i was checking to see if anyone else said that before I did, takashi saito is 41 years old so Im not sure where right got young reliever.

leaning left

April 5, 2011  11:57 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I forget. Which team is the reigning World Champions?

I'm not here to talk about the past.

April 6, 2011  09:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#21):

i was checking to see if anyone else said that before I did, takashi saito is 41 years old so Im not sure where right got young reliever.leaning left

That was my bad, I saw only 4 years in the league and didn't catch the age, That said, he has been a solid set up man (or closer) all 4 years.

April 6, 2011  01:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#23):

That was my bad, I saw only 4 years in the league and didn't catch the age, That said, he has been a solid set up man (or closer) all 4 years.

But I was certianly wrong on the "young" part. thank you for pointing it out.

 
April 6, 2011  01:35 PM ET

You're both wrong. It's obviously the Buccos.

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