Currently, the Reds are battling the Washington Nationals for the No. 1 seed on the NL side of the playoffs. For the last two months, the Reds have been the most dominant team in all of baseball...but can they continue their dominion into October?
The Reds' bullpen remains one of the best, if not the best, in all of baseball. Pitchers like Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and the Cuban Missile, Aroldis Chapman, have given the Reds plenty of confidence when their starting pitching needs some assistance late in games.
Starting pitching has been another skilled area for the Cincinnati roster.
Johnny Cueto is making a strong case for the NL Cy Young award while Mat Latos has begun to show authority in the past month (posting an ERA just over 1.00 in August). Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey have also made significant contributions when it mattered most this year.
The pitching looks to be perfectly capable to take the Reds deep into the postseason, so let's take a look at the hitting side of things.
The Reds seem to have won game after game since Joey Votto went onto the disabled list with a knee injury. Rookie of the Year candidate Todd Frazier is now batting .298 with 18 home runs and 59 RBI this season in only 325 at-bats.
Ryan Ludwick has been another very productive player on the offensive side. Since the All-Star break, Ludwick is hitting .318 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI.
Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Ryan Hanigan have also provided the Reds with plenty of offense.
The question remains, will the Reds get even better when the best hitter in all of baseball returns to the lineup?
And the answer is yes. Votto gives opposing teams another player to worry about and will give surrounding players in the lineup better pitches to hit.
If all goes as planned, the Reds look primed to make a run in the playoffs. With the continuation of consistent production from a variety of players in the Reds' lineup and the return of Votto, offense will not be a problem going into the playoffs.
Neither will pitching.
Cueto and Latos alone will provide the Reds with consistency in the rotation, and the bullpen will be nothing to sweat about, either. Aroldis Chapman is arguably the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball now and will be a deadly weapon come playoff time.