Prospectus just started a series they’re calling “Hope and Faith.”  It’s essentially an optimistic, best-case-scenario preview of every team.  Today is the Reds, with guest author Jeff Erickson of Rotowire.

Starting point:

If the Reds make just a few marginal improvements, they could get their record over .500, giving them a chance to win the NL Central. Once they get there, as the Cardinals showed, anything can happen.

What has to go right for that to happen?
1. Homer Bailey is Ready for Prime Time

2. Adam Dunn Bounces Back 

3. The Reds Keep Finding Freely Available Talent (credit given for Arroyo, Phillips and Ross; Hamilton, Saarloos, and Livingston mentioned as possible breakouts).

4. Alex Gonzalez’s Defense is as Good as Advertised

5. Joey Votto takes Over at First Base