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FANTASY BASEBALL

Reds off to 13-17 start in 2020 MLB (Mark League Baseball) season

Major League Baseball is contemplating starting the 2020 baseball season in May with games played in Arizona in front of no fans with 7-inning doubleheaders, computer umpires and players returning to hotel rooms immediately after games until the next day.

Sound like fun?

Jesse Winker slides into third base. (Getty Images)

I’ve already got a head start on them by simulating the first month of the 2020 MLB (Mark League Baseball) season through a computer game, Dave Koch Sports. I’ve taken control of the Cincinnati Reds (of course) and the new players that came over this winter are on my roster (thanks for the 2020 Projected season DK Sports).

While I’m the manager of the Reds, the computer controls every other team. I’m beginning to know how manager David Bell feels. Joey Votto is hitting .170 after another typically horrid April. Our team batting average is .234 and team ERA is 3.83. We’ve suffered through a 9-game losing streak but stand a respectable 13-17 entering the month of May, five games behind the division-leading Cubs and Cardinals.

Glad April is behind us.

Some highlights included the play of newcomer Nicholas Castellanos, who is hitting .316 with 10 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 15 RBI.

Mike Moustakas is showing some good power with six homers but is hitting only .211. The other offensive newcomer, Shogo Akiyma, is hitting .262 and lefty Wade Miley is 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA while being a solid fifth starter. Trevor Bauer is 0-4 with a 6.18 ERA.

Overall, though, the pitching has been the highlight. Sonny Gray is 2-1 with a 2.31 ERA and the bullpen, which includes newcomer Pedro Strop, has been above average. Closer Raisel Iglesisas has three wins and seven saves.

The Reds were 8-4 before the 9-game losing streak but then won four of six against Arizona and Atlanta to close the month. The Reds are 7-7 in one-run games and 2-2 in extra innings.

Votto has walked a team-high 18 times but also struck out 27 times – many of those in clutch situations during the losing skid. Aquino has four home runs and Suarez has bombed out six but is hitting only .218. The middle of the order has been atrocious.

Tucker Barnhart is playing out of his mind with a .342 average that’s sure to start falling soon. Jesse Winker carried the offense for a time but finished the month a respectable .273 with three home runs. Aristides Aquino is hitting .268 with four home runs.

The division leaders are the Dodgers, Cubs and Cardinals (tied in the Central), and Braves in the National League. The Yankees, Astros and the White Sox and Indians (tied in the Central) are the AL division leaders.

It looks like an exciting season – if the Reds could only get a better manager. I’ll report back at the end of May, hopefully with better news and a better record.

By Mark Maynard

Managing editor of Kentucky Today, the digital newspaper of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, since July 2017. Worked 42 years for The Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky, the last 12 as managing editor and editor and the previous 30 before that in the sports department, including 17 years as sports editor. I have been in the business since 1975 with more than 75 writing awards from the Kentucky Press Association. I have also have written eight books, used to run fast but now look more like I have a piano on my back. President of Amy For Africa, a faith-based Christian ministry serving Uganda. I'm a husband to Beth and father to Stephen and Sally, grandfather to Brooks and human to Opie!

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