The Cincinnati Reds entered the 2023 MLB season with most pundits expecting them to be an afterthought, projected to be one of the worst teams in a dismal National League Central division.
Instead they’re within a hair of first place as we near the midpoint of the season, just one game behind the division leading Pirates in a year that’s been full of surprises.
While Cincinnati may not have much of a shot of winning it all this season (they’re listed at or around +20000 to claim the World Series this year, some of the worst odds in all of baseball), it looks like the Reds want to make the most of their chance to steal a division title in a down year: after all, anything can happen once the playoffs start.
As such, they’ve rushed some of their top prospects through the minor leagues instead of stashing them to squeeze out another year of service time as their window comes open. With players like shortstop Elly De La Cruz and left-handed pitcher Andrew Abbott (MLB’s No. 4 and No. 94 prospects, respectively) making their major league debut earlier this June, the Reds aren’t pulling any punches. De La Cruz is a physical unicorn whose talent is obvious to anyone watching, but it’s taking him some time to find his feet at the major league level. Abbott, like the Reds, has hit the ground running, not allowing any runs in two starts to begin his career.
These are exciting times to be a fan of Cincinnati baseball, with a successful future right on the horizon. As such, you should be sure to keep an eye on Andrew Abbott and the Cincinnati Reds with Ohio Sports Betting Apps as they begin to attempt their climb to the top of the NL Central. Now is a great time to buy low, but odds and promotions can vary dramatically from sportsbook to sportsbook: shop around if you think you’ve got a winning bet to make sure you’re locking in the best possible odds.
Here’s a look at Abbott’s lightning fast start to his major league career, and how it could help boost the Reds to their first division championship since 2012.
Abbott played four years of college baseball at the University of Virginia, honing his craft in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League in the summer of 2018. The Reds picked him in the second round in 2021 and he quickly rose through the ranks, spending most of 2022 (his first full professional season) with Double-A Chattanooga.
His climb continued in 2023, making just three starts with Chattanooga before making the jump to Triple-A, where he made seven starts before receiving the call to the big leagues.
Abbott relies on his four-seam fastball roughly half the time, mixing in a curveball, slider and changeup depending on the matchup and situation.
He made history in his first major league start, throwing six shutout innings against the Milwaukee Brewers with six strikeouts and just one hit allowed, the only left-hander to record such a line in a Major League debut in the modern era. His success continued against the St. Louis Cardinals, where he pitched in and around traffic in 5.2 shutout innings, allowing five hits and three walks but not letting any runners cross home plate.
His ability to deal with adversity so early in his career really stood out, and while he’s sure to hit a speed bump at some point, the major league experience he’s gaining right now will serve him well in the long run.
Even more important, the Reds earned a pair of wins in his two starts, against division opponents no less.