Fantasy baseball: Analyzing the Cincinnati Reds after their win streak comes to a close

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Spencer Steer #7 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first base in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 10, 2023 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Spencer Steer #7 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first base in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 10, 2023 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Jun 21, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder TJ Friedl (29) runs after hitting an RBI single against the Colorado Rockies during the fifth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder TJ Friedl (29) runs after hitting an RBI single against the Colorado Rockies during the fifth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

A detour from the Reds roster…

Cincinnati starts this week in Baltimore looking to start another win streak while facing the Orioles, who currently occupy the top Wild Card spot in the American League. If you’re in a league that rewards points for Holds by relief pitchers, then I strongly advise looking at Orioles reliever Yennier Cano. The third-year Cuban pitcher seems to have found his role in the majors as a late inning set-up man, a role he’s flourishing in much to the delight of fans throughout Charm City.

Cano’s 18 Holds are second most in the MLB thus far while his ERA (0.95) and WHIP (0.84) are the best amongst the league’s leaders in Holds. The Orioles reliever has seven Holds so far this month and also has four saves on his season resume. His splits across the board are pretty solid as Cano seems up to facing any in-game challenge. If you have to nitpick, I guess he’s not great against batters hitting eighth in a lineup (.500 OBA) nor when the count is 1-1 (.500 OBA).

Jake Fraley & TJ Friedel, Cincinnati outfielders

Reds outfielders Jake Fraley and TJ Friedel have more in common than playing the outfield in Cincinnati and catching my fantasy interest. Both are in their late 20s, both are lefties and both have recently come off stints on the IL after wrist injuries.

Thankfully for the Reds, both Fraley and Friedel have excelled since returning to the lineup. Fraley, .270 on the season with 11 homers and 47 RBI, rejoined the team midway through the winning streak and chipped in right away, going 2-for-4 with a home run in his return game June 18 against Houston. Fraley has hit .300 with four home runs, six RBI and a stolen base since his return. His batting average has climbed .022 points so far this month.

For Friedel’s part, he came back from his wrist injury right at the start of Cincinnati’s 12-game run and went 12-for-43 (.279) with seven RBI and four stolen bases in 11 of the 12 wins. Friedel is .311 on the season with pedestrian power numbers (four homers, 27 RBI) but boasts 12 stolen bases (four in the past week) and has been a steady presence at the top of the Reds batting order.

The duo is a combined 11-for-30 (.366) with two home runs, three RBI and five stolen bases against upcoming opponents Milwaukee and San Diego (they’ve yet to play the Orioles or Washington). Keep these guys on your Watch List and be ready to pull the trigger when you have a player slumping, injured or just looking for a change.

These are good days in the ‘Nati so hop on board and ride the wave down the Ohio River!

Next. Where are the Reds in this week's MLB power rankings?. dark