While things can and will change around Major League Baseball between now and the start of the season thanks to trades and injuries, the pre-spring training ZiPS projected standings are now out via Dan Szymborski and Fangraphs. The Cincinnati Reds are projected to finish at 70-92 according to the ZiPS projected standings. That would place them ahead of the 68-94 Pittsburgh Pirates within the division, and behind the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Chicago Cubs.

At a 70-win projection, that would make the Reds the better than the Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies, and the previously mentioned Pirates in the National League. No team in the American League is projected below 70 wins, but the Kansas City Royals are at the bottom of the league and are projected with the same record as Cincinnati.

“The computer is a big fan of Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene,” said Szymborski. That echoes much of the Cincinnati Reds fanbase. He followed that up with “but doesn’t see much excitement elsewhere on the Reds’ roster,” and that’s where you’ll see a little bit more divisiveness within the fanbase. If you happened to miss the individual player ZiPS projections from earlier in the winter, you can check out what we had to say about them here.

ZiPS does think favorably of several of the Cincinnati Reds prospects. Now, you never really know how things are going to work out, but if we assume that ZiPS is right, how early some of those guys show up in the big leagues could play a factor in how many games the organization wins (and loses). One example here is Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He is a third baseman who came over in the trade of Tyler Mahle at the deadline last summer and ZiPS would have him lead the team in home runs with 27 if he played in the big leagues all year long. It’s unlikely he will make the team out of spring training, but he projects to be the best hitter on the team in 2023 (Jake Fraley edges him out, but ZiPS doesn’t see him playing full time and not cracking 375 plate appearances on the year) and having that sooner rather than later would help things out.

62 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Interesting roster projections from bobby nightengale with assumption votto not ready for OD

    Williamson sp #5
    Weaver bullpen- hasnt pitched more than 66 innings in a season since 2018

    Barrero neck and neck with Newman at SS but both on roster

    No Fairchild in OF. Friedl 3 position Of’er if Senzel not ready with Fraley/Pinder lf platoon and Benson as a lefty bat in RF if Myers gets more 1b starts with Votto not ready.

    Steer everyday 3b

  2. Votto4life

    I think they will be closer to 60 rather than 70 wins, but it doesn’t much matter, it’s still a poor excuse for a major league team. Also, who cares if they are better than the A’s or nationals? Is that the standard now?

    • Jimbo44CN

      Exactly. Who cares. Most likely they will still stink, but as spring comes in hope springs eternal.

    • LuciusRuber

      I would agree except it’s the Castellini’s who are a poor excuse for MLB owners

  3. Harry Stoner

    Well, like many here, I’ll,probably watch, listen to or track most of the 162 Reds’ games this season.

    70 wins (I’ll round up to 72) means 10 fewer nights of bemoaning the miserable bullpen or Bell’s fumblings and likely a few more great performances from Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft and Diaz.

    As the Chairman (and Lady Day and Nat sand) It may not be love, but it’ll have to do until the real thing comes along.

  4. Votto4life

    Zips projected the 2022 Cincinnati Reds to win 74 games.

  5. Jeff

    Can’t rely on computer projections 100%. I’ll give the human competitive spirit 70% and say the Reds will win 80+games. OFC thats not withstanding any David Bell bumbles, blunders and poor common sense thinking.

    • TR

      For me, if the Reds end the 2023 season less than 10 games under .500, it will have been a successful season after the disaster of 2022.

  6. Kevin H

    Does the computer project injuries? Diamonds in the rough?

    Really sad to rely on a computer to “project” just silly. Analytics has ruined the game. It has become boring.

    • Doug Gray

      What are you talking about? How has “a computer” ruined the game and made it boring by saying “they’ll win 70 games”? How is that any different than Joe Sportwriter saying “The (Insert Team Here) is going to finish last this year”? Did that ruin the game?

      • Colorado Red

        Not the computer, but Analytics, has messed up the game.
        try to through every pitch as hard as you can. Swing as hard as you can. Launch angle, the sift, etc. That has messed up the game.

      • Doug Gray

        How has it messed up the game? Has it changed the game? Sure. Do did changing the baseball 100 years ago. So did playing on concrete for 40 years. So did the new stadiums we’ve played in for the last 30 years. So did adding the DH 50 years ago. So did changing the strikezone. The game is constantly changing because of something. But that doesn’t mean it’s ruined. It just means you specifically don’t like it.

      • LDS

        Exactly, Colorado. Descriptive statistics parading as predictive.

      • 2020ball

        And yet, you all still use statistics while you complain about the ones you just happen not to like.

      • AMDG

        Analytics (aka baseball stats) are a way to quantify what we see on the field.

        What would baseball cards have been a generation ago without all the stats on the reverse side of them?

        Some baseball fans like stats & analytics to rate players. While others want to go back to awarding the Cy Young to the pitcher who has the most wins.

      • Votto4life

        The problem is what get measured, gets done. If you are hitting .220, don’t worry about it, as long as on those rare occasions when you make contact you have good exit velocity.

        A .220 hitter was awful in 1923 and they are awful in 2023.

        All you need to know about a player you can learn by looking at a few basic statistics. The rest are useless.

      • Votto4life

        The Cy Young Award was named after CY Young, because he literally has the most career wins. So yeah, I am OK with that standard.

      • LDS

        Using statistics to describe what one sees on the field or to report aggregate performances, e.g., player X hit .330 last season, is not the same as inferring that any ball hit at a launch angle of Y and an EV of Z will be a HR in 75% of the parks. Rod Carew played 19 seasons and had a career BA of .328, but never hit more than 16 HRs in a season, and 92 for his career. Going to tell him to adjust his swing and launch angle so he can hit more HRs? That’s the modern thinking. And before everyone jumps in protest, remember Alejo Lopez, who many here thought could wind up hitting near .300 regularly. What was the knock on Lopez? No power. And where is he now? Who knows?

      • Kevin H

        I have a right to my opinion just like you and others have.

      • Doug Gray

        You’ve got the right to it, but I’d love to see an actual explanation of how you are linking “FIP exists and therefore the game is ruined!” or whatever stat you want to talk about that’s ruined the game.

      • LDS

        It’s not the stats that are ruining the game. It’s managing to a stat that doesn’t predict anything that is the issue. Most baseball stats, even analytics, are great at telling you what happened, just not great at telling you what to do.

      • Doug Gray

        What stats are being managed to that don’t predict anything?

      • AMDG

        As far as managing to a stat, if a team can determine that doing X results in a greater chance of winning than doing Y, then it would seem that the team should try to do X more often than Y?

        If the data shows it can result in more wins, then wouldn’t it make sense for a team to attempt it – regardless if it means playing lefty-righty matchups, swinging for the fences, playing defensive shifts, using non-traditional batting orders, stealing bases, abandoning the sac bunt, etc.

      • LDS

        @AMDG, the data doesn’t say that if a team does X, they will win. The data says that when a team wins, X likely happened. That’s two different things. The former is predictive. The latter is descriptive.

      • Doug Gray

        LDS what you are describing isn’t what’s happening. There’s not a stat that says “if you do this you will win”. They say “if you do this it gives you a better chance to accomplish your goal of (preventing runs or scoring runs – depending on whether you’re talking about pitching/defense, or offense)”.

      • 2020ball

        Its possible to use stats and still recognize their short-comings. Before I make a prediction about a player, I prefer to have watched him play a lot and look at his basic and analytical stats. I’m using past occurrences to guess on how someone might do in the future. We all do this everyday whether you think you do or not. No one can “know” that when they step onto the tile in their kitchen they aren’t going to fall into an endless abyss, but we assume not since its never happened in the past.

      • Doug Gray

        2020 – I’ve been on twitter for nearly 14 years. I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen into an endless abyss.

      • Doug Gray

        What about them?

        You can have the best LA/EV on the planet, but if your pitching staff gives up 20 runs a game it’s not a stat that’s “going to make you win if you do it well”. The right LA is going to help you get more hits over the long run. What that LA is depends on the player. The right LA for Nick Madrigal is not the same “right” LA for Aaron Judge. Exit velo…. you want for it to be high. “Hit the ball hard” is something that has been taught forever. The only thing that’s different today is we can measure just how hard we’re hitting it.

    • citizen54

      All analytics are trying to do is to find out what actually contributes to wins. Distilled down to basic essence, it’s actually just another name for data. Come to think of it though, it has lead to a more boring game ie the emphasis on home runs, missed bats and shifts while eschewing stolen bases and bunts.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah and I think that is what Kevin H. is trying to say. Analytics has changed the way players approach the game and that has resulted in a product that is barely watchable.

      • 2020ball

        (shrugs) I like watching it still

  7. Tar Heel Red

    I still say the offense is okay (depending on who starts at short and third), but the pitching, in my opinion, will not be good enough to improve on last year’s win total. Sure to be unpopular but I predict the Reds win between 55 and 60 in ’23.

    • Stock

      Maybe unpopular here but realistic. Pitching is much weaker without Castillo and Mahle.

      Hitting takes a hit at SS and 3B as Farmer and Drury are much better than Steer and whomever. If Myers is any good he will be traded in July. Same may be true for India and/or Fraley. That said there are 5 players who could make the 2023 offense better than the 2022 offense (Fraley, Benson, Myers, India and Stephenson). Time will tell.

      • AMDG

        How is the offense at SS worse with Newman (94 OPS+, 0.274 BA) than it is with Farmer (90 OPS+, 0.255 BA)? If anything, seems it would be a wash?

        And at 3B, keep in mind Drury only started 54 games at 3B last year. And wasn’t much of a hitter before he got to Cincy, nor after he was traded away. The track record doesn’t seem to support him replicating that hot, flash in the pan start to 2022. As long as Steer can hit 0.240, he should be able to replace what Drury is expected to do this season.

      • Stock

        First I don’t think Newman gets first shot. That goes to Barrero. Second, I was wrongly accounting for defense, where Farmer is better than Newman and defense by a SS will become more important again in 2023.

    • Optimist

      Maybe not – Pitching should be better than last year – starting may dip but the pen cannot be much worse, can it? Offense may be a tad worse, but it wasn’t even good last year. Likely boils down to injuries – if they get 100 more games from TySteve, India and Joey this projection seems right. Any breakthroughs could get it slightly better.

      Still – 65-75 wins is not good, even if better.

  8. Mark

    71-91…lots go right and a few go wrong. Myers traded at the deadline for prospects and Freidl, Steer, Encarnacion-Strand, Abbot, Boyle have breakout seasons. Oh yeah, some guy named De La Cruz makes his debut (he’s pretty good).

    • Harry Stoner

      I hope you’re right. With all those breakouts happening, the record could be considerably better.

      Myers will be good for another couple shortstops in late August.

      • JayTheRed

        Don’t worry David Bell won’t play any minor league breakout players.

  9. Mark Moore

    Frankly, I’d take double-digit losses and a chance to see some of the young bucks shine. Still probably won’t make a pilgrimage to Cincy to watch a game (though I do have Delta credits I need to burn this year). I’m not counting on Joey until June and I’m on the fence about Senzel’s ability to play out of the gate.

    But I’m neither a computer nor an analyst, so it’s all just a fan’s guess from me.

    • Harry Stoner

      Double digit losses will likey come your way by mid April. 😉

      You’re guess on JV and NS are on the money, though.

  10. JB

    I’m going to say 60 because there are way to many “ifs” this year compared to last. The whole outfield is a “if”. Steer is as well and so isn’t Barrero. If JV makes it back and will he hit at 39 is a huge “if”. Bullpen stay healthy and there is a lot of pressure on the three kids starting and who starts the last two spots. It might be another kid. Holy Moly. 60 might be the ceiling. Either way I’ll be there watching every game hoping they all breakout and have great years and when Joey catches the final out in the World Series all we here is “Do you believe in Miracles?!

  11. Rednat

    i am actually hoping the reds lose every game this year. at least that would bring some national attention to the poor state of mlb and the reds. loose 100 games, nobody says a thing. loose 140 games, then at least the national media will begin to talk and shine a spot light on our fair city and it’s baseball team

  12. Droslovinia

    Sheer pessimism! I think the Reds have finally found the combination of front office, “coaching,” and on-field “talent” that it takes to make a real run at the Cleveland Spiders this year. Maybe they should embrace this once in a lifetime opportunity and promote the disfunction. Where else you gonna go?

  13. scotly50

    That last time I paid any attention to the Zips forecasts are when they picked the Royals to finish last in their division and they went to the World series and came within a base of winning it. Then the next year again picked them last in their division and they won the World Series.

    On second thought, maybe their prediction bodes well for the Reds.

  14. CFD3000

    70 wins feels about right for a preseason projection, but there are so many unknowns that anything from 60 to 90 is plausible IMHO. Health will of course be key. How much and how effectively will Stephenson, India, Votto, Antone, Sims and Santillan play? Will Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft all get 30 starts? And which prospects will arrive, and when, and how will their early at bats go? It’s a big adjustment and even future stars often struggle at first. CES, EDLC, Barrero, Marte, McClain and more – will any of them make a positive difference this year? It’s easy to see a path to only 60 (or even fewer) wins, but not hard to describe what a winning Reds year would look like. So 70 seems like a reasonable, cautious guess but I’m hoping for a lot more. Pitchers and catchers this week!

    • Harry Stoner

      While I’m excited to see them arrive, the thought of Bell ‘managing’ the transition to MLB for CES, EDLC, McGarry, Marte, McClain (and more) is a nightmare scenario.

      • MBS

        I’m not too worried about Bell with those guys. True he plays vets over youth, but so do most managers. Currently we don’t have much of a vet presence on the team, so that shouldn’t be much of an issue.

        I usually have more of an issue with him on the pitcher side of things.

      • 2020ball

        Yup, whatever manager it is y’all want instead is just going to do all the same things Bell does. Then you’ll complain about him and the cycle begins anew.

      • Harry Stoner

        I certainly didn’t have the issues with Dusty Baker or Bryan Price that I do with Bell.

        The Miley-MackNarron years are a blur.

      • 2020ball

        I dont see one good manager listed there. And I always wonder if anyone will credit Bell for the guys who are having success, instead of always blaming him for only the guys struggling.

      • Melvin

        haha I hope you’re wrong…. but I’m very much afraid you’re right.

  15. Oldtimer

    The 1983 Reds won 74 games. The 1982 Reds only won 61 games.

    Their rosters were similar but not identical.


    58 Wins!
    Lodolo spends at least 30 days on IL.
    Senzel hits .230 with 6 HR and 99 days on IL
    Boone gets fired after All Star Game.

    • Doug Gray

      Why would the Yankees fire Aaron Boone over this?


        Sorry lol.
        Too much Boone and Bell dynasties existed in this organization.

  17. Jeff K.

    My prediction: 78-84. There was a lot of bad luck last year, and I think the team is moving in the right direction.

  18. Larry Baker

    Sorry, don’t see a 70 win team. Just looking at the roster, don’t see how they can win any games. This is baseball, the Reds will win some games. Looking at the lineup, don’t see any super stars. Just average players, Many are lucky to be playing for the Reds. Some would have a hard time being on a major league team. This is the bad news point, players who helped the Reds win early season games in 2022 are gone. The good news, maybe the Reds will get lucky with some free agents and get some unknown help from current minor league players. The hope is for young players that can make a major jump to the big league. Player development is the only dream Reds fans have. Sadly.