Cincinnati Reds (+12)
Three-fifths of Cincy’s projected Opening-Day rotation was acquired via trade within the last few months: Sonny Gray, Alex Wood, and Tanner Roark. What’s interesting to note here is that each of them were planning on entering 2019 with it being their final year under team control. That’s still true for Wood and Roark, but not Gray, who signed an extension as part of the conditions of his trade.
Although Gray needs to use the upcoming season to erase a nightmarish 2018, he at least has a mostly solid track record to his name. Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani — the two holdovers from last year’s rotation — could very well be the x-factors.
Castillo took a step back after an impressive showing as a rookie, but one can hope he’s trending in the right direction after posting a 2.44 second-half ERA over his final 66.1 innings (5.49 ERA in 103.1 first-half innings). As for DeSclafani, he was a bright spot for the Reds from 2015-16 before missing all of ’17. He’ll need to bring last year’s career-worst 41.9% hard-hit rate back down to its regular levels (33.8% for career).