As the Reds’ season begins to wind down, the chances of them making the playoffs becomes even more likely. Even though they are faltering right now, the schedule favors the Reds as they have numerous key series remaining against teams below .500. Obviously, the Reds still need to take care of business down the stretch, but it doesn’t hurt to imagine what the lineup would look like in a win-or-go-home game.
Squad goals. 📸 pic.twitter.com/xef4L0DDZN
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 3, 2021
1. Jonathan India(2B)
Even though India has been struggling a bit as of late, he has been the most productive player in the leadoff spot for the entire year. He can’t be moved from that spot. He is the sparkplug that lights the Reds offense. No lineup combination can go without the rookie sensation.
2. Jesse Winker(LF)
This decision is assuming that Winker will stay on track and be healthy by the time October comes around. If he can get healthy, he will slot back in right where he left off, in the two-spot, playing left field. Winker has been tremendous all season and he will look to get back healthy and find his way back into the Reds’ lineup so he can start doing damage again.
3. Nick Castellanos(RF)
No discussion here. Castellanos will play if he is healthy. He is hitting .321 with 26 home runs and 35 doubles. Enough said.
4. Joey Votto(1B)
Joey Votto has been a staple in the Reds lineup for the entirety of the season. There is no other option behind Votto. When he is hot, he is one of the better hitters in all of baseball. The Reds will have Votto in the lineup and they hope that he can find his groove again before October comes around.
5. Mike Moustakas(3B)
The third base situation will depend on the handiness of the pitcher. If it is a left-handed starter, this spot will go to Eugenio Suarez. As of now, the Dodgers/Giants would most likely have a right-handed starter, meaning this would be Mike Moustakas‘ spot in the order.
6. Kyle Farmer(SS)
For most of the season, Kyle Farmer has been the Reds’ shortstop. He has provided great defense and a pretty good bat. There shouldn’t be much change or discussion for the shortstop position, especially after the young phenom, Jose Barrero was moved back down to Triple-A Louisville. This has led to little competition for Farmer at shortstop. He will anchor the infield for the wild card game.
7. Tyler Naquin(CF)
The center field situation will also depend on the handiness of the pitcher, much like at third base. If the opposing pitcher is a left-handed pitcher, this spot will more than likely belong to Aristides Aquino. As for now, it will belong to Tyler Naquin, who has just recently begun to cool off. For a few weeks, he was one of the hotter hitters in baseball. His bat potential paired with his tremendous arm and glove makes him a solid option in center field.
8. Tucker Barnhart(C)
There is no debate on who will do the catching, as long as Wade Miley gets the start. Barnhart has been the catcher for Miley for the entirety of the season. As it looks right now, the Reds would also face a right-handed starting pitcher. Reds manager, David Bell, loves to stick to the lefty vs righty matchups, meaning Barnhart will catch this game if all stays true.
9. Wade Miley(P)
Wade Miley is the most proven and experienced starter that the Reds have. If they are lucky, they will clinch the playoffs with a few games remaining. That would allow them to manipulate their rotation to be able to pick who would start this wild card game. If they get to choose, Wade Miley should be the one to get the ball.
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