Why the Reds are primed to be a 60-game sleeper

first_imgThe Cincinnati Reds have endured six straight losing seasons. They haven’t won a playoff series in 25 years. They haven’t won a World Series in 30 years. Yet Cincinnati enters the shortened 60-game season as a possible sleeper to break a few of those droughts. Now is the time for 35-year-old first baseman and potential Hall of Famer Joey Votto to lead that run.   TEAMGAMESPCTTwins3.623Indians4.574Cardinals10.562Brewers10.549Cubs10.519White Sox3.447Pirates10.426Royals4.364Tigers6.292The Reds have 13 cross-over games with AL Central teams that had a below .500 record in 2019, in addition to 10 games against the lowly Pirates.  It still comes down to competing with the Cardinals, Brewers and Cubs in an always-crowded division, but this Reds team is best equipped to do it now. This might be the year to break those droughts. “It looks like guys are ready and motivated,” Votto told the Dayton Daily News on July 4. “It seems like a group of guys who flipped the switch and they have it.” MORE: World Series odds for 2020Votto has led the NL in on-base percentage seven times in his career, but last season was just the second time in the past 11 seasons that his OBP number dipped below .400. He’s still a formidable hitter, however, and the Reds have built perhaps their best team in years around him.  Better than the teams that lost the NLDS in 2010 and 2012 and the wild card in 2013. Here are the reasons why:  Offseason movesCincinnati owner Bob Castellini and GM Nick Krall spent money in the offseason, and those additions should add depth to a young-and-talented roster for second-year manager David Bell. Among those moves:  — A four-year deal for Mike Moustakas, who averaged 33 homers the past four seasons with the Royals and Brewers.  — A four-year deal for Nick Castellanos, who hit .289 with 27 homers and 73 RBIs between the Tigers and Cubs.  — A two-year deal for Wade Miley, who should be a back-end starter in a solid rotation.  — A three-year deal for Shogo Akiyama, a 32-year-old outfielder who hit .300 in Japan.  Cincinnati also added bullpen depth with a one-year deal for Pedro Strop from the rival Cubs. That should add to the good pieces in place.  More power Moustakas and Castellanos add to what should be a heavy-hitting lineup led by Eugenio Suarez, who hit 49 homers with 103 RBIs in 2019. Outfielder Aristides Aquino hit 19 homers in 56 games, and Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker combined for 28 homers and have break-through potential.  The Reds will have added flexibility in the lineup with the addition of the designated hitter in 2020. Cincinnati was below league average in team slugging and on-base percentage last season, but that should change in 2020.  Short-season rotationLook at the first-half splits last season for Luis Castillo (8-3, 2.29), Sonny Gray (8-3, 3.05) and Trevor Bauer (8-6, 3.61). Granted, Bauer was in Cleveland and struggled after being traded, but those three arms form a playoff-caliber trio that could carry a 60-game run.  Miley will add to that, and Anthony DeSclafani and Tyler Mahle can contribute on the back end of the rotation.  A better bullpenStrop was a minor addition, but the bullpen of Michael Lorenzen, Craig Stephenson and Amir Garrett is intact around closer Raisel Iglesias. He had a 4.16 ERA last season, but he still managed to convert 34 of 40 saves. Iglesias converted 87.5 percent of the save opportunities for his career heading into the season.   These guys aren’t the “Nasty Boys” by any stretch, but the bullpen is good enough for a short season.  The schedule breaks nicely. Here’s a look at Cincinati’s schedule by opponent this season.  last_img read more

Meghan’s amazing college career continues with eighth win

first_img England international Meghan MacLaren continued her remarkable US college career with her eighth win on the women’s circuit. She won the Conference USA women’s championship for the second year in a row and the third time in total. The 21-year-old, from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, scored three-under par at the Verandah Club in Fort Myers, Florida, and was two clear of the field.  She’s only the second student at Florida International University to win the title back to back and be a three-time individual conference champion. MacLaren (Image © Leaderboard Photography) flew home after the event to play in this weekend’s Helen Holm Scottish women’s stroke play championship at Troon. She’s teaming up there with fellow international Inci Mehmet (Royal Mid Surrey) to represent England in the Nations Cup. MacLaren is a past winner of the British and Irish stroke play titles and was eighth in the 2016 South American amateur. She is an England and GB&I international and represented Europe in this season’s inaugural Patsy Hankins Trophy against Asia Pacific. She is a member of the England Golf women’s squad. 22 Apr 2016 Meghan’s amazing college career continues with eighth win last_img read more

Nelson Toyota, Northport advance to Men’s Basketball League Final

first_imgNelson Toyota and Northport will meet in the final of the West Kootenay Men’s Basketball League after scoring win in semi final action Monday in Nelson and Rossland.Nelson Toyota built up a big lead then held off a late charge to upset regular season champ Empire Coffee 88-78 at the L.V. Rogers Hangar.Meanwhile, Northport defeated Flying Steamshovel of Rossland 75-55 to secure the other spot in the final.last_img

Nelson Legion supports Granite Pointe hosting of BC Juvenile Golf Championship

first_imgGranite Pointe at Nelson is hosting the top young players in the BC as the Rosemont Course plays host to the BC Juvenile Golf Championship August 15-18. To help with the cost of the tournament, Nelson Legion generously made a $1,000 to the organizing committee. Making the presentation was Royal Canadian Legion Nelson Branch President Bill Andreaschuk to Granite Pointe Club President Barry Auliffe and Granite Pointe GM/Pro David Belling.last_img

Who to Watch; Opening Day, September 26

first_imgBlog by Zoe MetzAll the anticipation can mean only one thing.  The Autumn Meet is upon us…We kick off the meet on September 26th the best way we know how; FIVE Grade I “Win and You’re In” races with a berth to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships up for grabs.The Races2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner, Bayern (photo by Zoe Metz)The Awesome Again is one of the final chances (as well as a prep race for the boys, 3 years old & up) to earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Some familiar names have won this race such as Game On Dude and Shared Belief. Horses among this year’s running include Bayern, Global View, Hard Aces, Hoppertunity, Imperative, Point Piper, Sammy Mandeville and Smooth Roller.The Zenyatta Stakes, named after the one and only Zenyatta, is a race for the older fillies and mares to reserve their spot in the Ladies’ Distaff. The last two Zenyatta Stakes have been swept by two time Eclipse Champion, Beholder. Other notables for the race include 2015 Santa Anita Oaks winner Stellar Wind, My Sweet Addition and Warren’s Veneda (all Grade I winners over the Santa Anita surface).The FrontRunner Stakes gives a chance to see the young up-and-coming two-year-old boys. You never know where the winner of this race could end up. For example, American Pharoah; he proved he could win in the Del Mar Futurity, showed his professionalism in the FrontRunner, and proved his greatness capturing the Triple Crown. Trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas are tied with 9 winners in the Chandelier StakesThe Chandelier Stakes is a glimpse of the young fillies trying to make their journey on to the first Friday in May. Numerous fillies have used this race to pave their way into running strong races in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, amidst those fillies are Halfbridled, Stardom Bound, Serena’s Song and Blindluck. Fun Fact: D. Wayne Lucas and Bob Baffert are tied for most wins in the Chandelier Stakes, both have had 9 winners.The Rodeo Drive Stakes has been won by fillies and mares that have made their name in the racing world on the grass. In 1998 a mare of the name of Fiji (GB) won this race, later on became Eclipse Award Champion Grass Mare. Other notable past winners include Tranquility Lake, Wait a While (only mare to win the race twice), and Nashoba’s Key. Fun Fact: Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel won this race 3 consecutive years in a row (2003-2005) with Tates Creek, Light Jig (GB) and Megahertz (GB).Ones to WatchHoppertunity during morning workouts (photo by Zoe Metz)This could be his opportunity to steal the show, or rather a Hoppertunity. Hoppertunity has been up against some of the toughest competitors the west coast has seen like Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, the small but mighty Shared Belief and in his most recent start, the best mare around, Beholder. You couldn’t ask for a horse with more consistency than Hoppertunity, he has never been worse than 5th (his debut) in his 13 career starts. Can he punch his golden ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a win in the Awesome Again stakes?Beholder will make an attempt to capture her third consecutive Zenyatta Stakes. She is the mare that can do just about anything, proving just what kind of horse she is by beating the boys with flying colors in the Pacific Classic. She is hands down one of the best mares the world has seen winning 14 of 19 starts. Beholder has not only captured everyone’s attention but she has captured everyone’s hearts with her love and ability to run.Beholder working under Hall of Fame jockey, Gary Stevens (photo by Zoe Metz)Nyquist remains undefeated after three starts, including his graded wins in the Best Pal Stakes and Del Mar Futurity. He has continued the success of Mario Gutierrez and Reddam Racing, LLC over the summer, can he keep the streak alive? Mario and Reddam Racing teamed up for  a victory in the FrontRunner Stakes back in 2013.Songbird proved she is all business in the Del Mar Debutante. She is trained and ridden by Hall of Famers that believe she is something special. She too is also unbeaten and will try to keep her good fortune for owners Fox Hill Farm, Inc.Sharla Rae during morning workouts (photo by Zoe Metz)Sharla Rae is taking on older fillies and mares for the first time to secure her spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. She is fresh off an impressive win in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks. Sharla Rae is very familiar with running in stakes company and just continues to improve. Can she make the grade against older females?Opening day is this Saturday, don’t forget first post is at 12:30pm!last_img read more