For a team that leads the National League in runs scored, this grade probably seems a little low.
Cincinnati has scored at least 10 runs in a game six times already this season, but it has struggled to be consistent. The team has been held to one run or less nine times so far, including back-to-back games of being held to one hit against the Washington Nationals.
This team is starting to become more consistent at the plate. Early on the pitching carried the team, but the offense is beginning to take over. It ranks first in the NL in OBP and walks and is one behind the Colorado Rockies for the most runs.
Shin-Soo Choo (.456) and Joey Votto (.454) own the best on-base percentages in baseball. Choo has been hit by a pitch 12 times already, which would put him in a tie for No. 16 among all major league teams. On the other hand, Votto leads the majors in walks.
With guys getting on base ahead of him, Brandon Phillips has turned into a candidate for NL Most Valuable Player. The second baseman leads the NL in RBI, and he has provided Votto with protection. Teams are paying the price by pitching around Votto and facing Phillips.
All-Star right fielder Jay Bruce is starting to heat up at the plate, so teams are going to have to keep throwing strikes to Phillips. Bruce has hit two home runs and three doubles in his past four games.
Votto and Bruce have combined for only seven home runs this season, so the team will take off as they begin to drive the ball out of the park.
The key to the offense is Todd Frazier. The sophomore has come through many times for this team, but his .229 average needs to come up behind Bruce. With six home runs and 25 RBI, teams need to watch out for Frazier's power.
The reason for a low grade is the rest of the lineup. The No. 2 spot and the bottom of the order have been struggling for much of the season.
Phillips had to leave the No. 2 spot when Ryan Ludwick went down, and the left fielders have not done much on offense. At .223, the Reds have the second-lowest average out of left field in the NL.
Catcher Ryan Hanigan struggled before he landed on the disabled list. With a combination of Hanigan, Devin Mesoraco and Corky Miller, the Reds own the lowest average (.181) and fewest RBI by catchers in the NL.
Cincinnati pitchers lead the NL in average at .200, which is over 30 points higher than the next team.
Injuries have hurt the lineup tremendously. When Ludwick went down, it left a gaping hole in both left field and the No. 2 spot in the lineup. He's supposed to be out for two more months, so other players need to step up.
Now that Hanigan is back from an injury, his contributions to this lineup should become more frequent. The Reds no longer have to put Miller in the lineup twice every turn in the rotation, so the production will only get better.
The Reds have been nearly unbeatable at home. They are 16-6 at Great American Ball Park, and the team has lost only one series at home. In 22 games, the Reds are averaging 5.5 runs per game and have hit 28 home runs. They lead the NL in OBP at home with a clip of .345.
When they hit the road, it's a totally different story. The team is averaging only 3.8 runs per game and a home run every other game away from home. The team's average on the road is .228, and they own the lowest road slugging percentage in baseball. Both times the team has been shut out has come on the road.
Once the bottom of the lineup starts to contribute, the Reds will find their groove on the road. They have had to squeak by in some games so far, but that will change as players begin to heat up.