You guys, opening day is less than a week away. We'll see a flood of season previews and projections and such over the next few days, most of them doing their damnedest to be objective and accurate. This is not one of those.
Joey Votto will post an OBP above .500
The Best Hitter in Baseball will be the first dude not named Barry Bonds to get on base more than half the time since the days of Williams and Mantle. He got on base at a .474 clip in his abbreviated 2012 season and reached 50.5% of the time after returning from knee surgery. Recently, "chose not to make outs anymore." So he wills it, so it shall be.
Mat Latos will break out as one of the best pitchers in the National League
Latos is entering his age-25 season and has tallied a career-ERA of 3.47 thus far. He's going to shave a full run off of that this season by cutting his home run rate in half and striking out over a batter per inning. On a few occasions last season, the big fella showed his age. He was a kid with enormous pressure to perform as the Reds traded a ton of talent to get him. He's now a year older and will be more comfortable in his surroundings, and he's gonna put the NL in a head lock and keep it there and the NL will think it's all just for fun at first but he'll squeeze tighter and tighter until the NL isn't sure if he's playing around anymore and the NL will get kinda scared and start freaking out and then Latos will let the NL go and laugh and say, "Ha, I was just kidding but you thought I was really serious" and then he'll push the NL into the pool.
Jay Bruce will lead the league in home runs
Miguel Cabrera led the league in home runs last year, walloping 44 wangers and winning the Triple Crown. Bruce isn't a Triple Crown threat, but his power is fer serious. He has increased his home run total every year of his career so far, topping out at 34 last year. He'll take another jump in 2013, denting the bleachers 46 times and joining his teammate Joey Votto in the top 10 of MVP voting (Joey's gonna win, natch).
Todd Frazier is going to be just the coolest
For years, Derek Jeter has been considered like a great guy and the best teammate and whatever. Todd Frazier thinks Jeter is awesome and everything, and he was Frazier's boyhood idol and all, so all respect and such, but America is going to fall in love with the Toddfather. In a three-game series against the Braves in May, Frazier will have two walk-off hits off Craig Kimbrel to punctuate a series sweep. He'll be named to his All-Star Team where he'll sub in for David Wright in the sixth inning. He'll wrap a double in his first plate appearance to score the tying run and then he'll hit a walk-off home run to give the NL the victory. People will love him and he'll play an integral role in brokering a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
This is going to be the best team of all time
Remember when the 2001 Mariners won 116 games? Pfff. The Reds are going to pass that mark in mid-September. They will set a new Major League record for excellence, winning 126 games. They will sweep the Nationals in the NLDS and beat the Braves four games to one in the NLCS, outscoring them 45-10 in the series. They will sweep the Rays in the World Series, extending their WS winning streak to 13 games. This is seriously going to be the coolest thing ever, you guys.