The Reds 2020 lineup has provided fans with a level of excitement and optimism that we have not seen in quite some time. Suarez-Castellanos-Moustakas feels like a dangerous trio that should strike fear in the opposition. Suarez and Castellanos are both really good hitters, but a large portion of their offensive value comes from their ability to destroy LHP. Suarez has a career .901 OPS vs LHP, while Castellanos is at .891.  However in contrast, Suarez has a career .789 OPS vs RHP, while Castellanos is just at .768 (NL average in 2019 was .753).  Suarez did OPS .911 last year vs RHP, which was due to his major surge of hitting 38 home runs vs RHP. If his power comes back down to earth some, Suarez probably reverts back to a good-not-great hitter vs RHP.

Mike Moustakas is a good player, but he doesn’t lack the drastic splits you might think a LHB would have against a RHP. Moustakas only has a career .764 OPS vs RHP, although he was up to .831 last year. Even an .831 OPS doesn’t stack up against the Reds biggest competition. Over the past 3 years, the Brewers have Christian Yelich, who has a .992 OPS vs RHP. The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo at .922, Kris Bryant at .864 and Kyle Schwarber at .861. The Cardinals have Paul Goldschmidt at .878. Bryan Reynolds had an OPS of .931 vs RHP is his rookie season last year for the Pirates, while Josh Bell has a .865 OPS vs RHP over the last 3 years.

Joey Votto is one of the best hitters in MLB history against RHP. Reds fans should feel confident that Votto will be able to contribute this season with a high OBP, but it seems unrealistic to expect him to get back to his previous power numbers which contributed to being an offensive superstar.

The good news for the Reds is that they have one of the best hitters in baseball against right handed pitchers: Jesse Winker. He has a career .907 OPS against RHP, which is tied with Mookie Betts for the 17th best in the MLB of anyone with 700+ PA since 2017. His .907 OPS is better than Jose Altuve, Ronald Acuna, Paul Goldschmidt, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant and Francisco Lindor.

According to Roster Resource, 17 of the projected 20 SP on the Reds NL Central rivals are RHP (and two of those are on the Pirates). That is why Jesse Winker might be as important as any Reds player in 2020. The Reds need Winker to stay healthy to keep their lineup strong most nights in the NL Central.

11 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    We’ll be saying this all season about so many things Nick, but it’s a shame this will only be a 60 game sprint. If Winker stays healthy he (and Nick Senzel, same health question) have an opportunity to make a big difference for the Reds offense. Behind the big names of Suarez, Castellanos, Moustakas and Winker, and the curiosity factor surrounding Akiyama, it will be easy to forget about Winker and Senzel. And maybe in 60 games they won’t matter as much. But if those two guys are good the Reds offense will be very very good. And few will notice. But here’s hoping they both contribute greatly in 2020 and set themselves up to emerge as a young force for the 2021 Reds.

  2. Tom Reeves

    The match-ups David Bell has at his disposal are pretty amazing. If we think about OPS by position rather than player, the Red may field a 800+ OPS outfield, 3B, 2B, 1B, and DH. That’s stout.

  3. Indydoug

    Missed the entire factual basis for the article, huh?

  4. TR

    The Reds had the game won, and Winker, one of the game’s best contact hitters, took three straight strikes down the pike. Puzzled by that. But it looks to me like the Reds have a well rounded team.

    • Reds Fan

      In case you missed it, those strikes were from a lefthander and lefties give Winker all kinds of trouble. The point of the article was how well he hits righthanders.

  5. ClevelandRedsFan

    Finally the Reds actually have hitting depth and a manager who seemingly knows how to exploit matchups to his advantage.

    We will see more of what we saw last night. Bell will keep bringing in the handedness regime when the starter is out.

    2020 is going to be fun.

  6. Don

    The team depth in the outfield is good when Winker is not really in the conversation to start defensively. Without the DH this year he probably gets very few ABs.

    Shogo, Senzel, Castallanos should start for the defense and offense vs LHP.

    The Jankowski stolen base is something the team will need as a late inning pinch runner, he stole that base with ease and in close games vs better teams this is a must have

    The cut to 26 will be interesting in 4 weeks.

  7. earmbrister

    Winker is one of the most underrated players in MLB. When, not if, he stays healthy for an entire season, he will put up some monster numbers.

  8. Doc

    Casali catching again today. Is Barnhart ailing, delivering a baby, something else?

    • Doug Gray

      It appears that Tucker is doing that.

  9. Stock

    I am looking at Votto having a revival this year. I don’t expect him to match 2017 but I think a .925 – 950 OPS vs. RHP is well within reach.