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Cincinnati Reds primed for fast start when MLB season begins

Joey Votto (19) and Nick Senzel (15) are expected to be two of the Cincinnati Reds' key players in 2020. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Joey Votto (19) and Nick Senzel (15) are expected to be two of the Cincinnati Reds' key players in 2020. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

July 7 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Reds could get off to a quick start if the Major League Baseball season begins as planned later this month.

Six of the Reds' first 10 games will be against last season's worst team: the Detroit Tigers.

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Regular season wins and losses will hold much more significance this season, which has been shortened from 162 to 60 games due to the coronavirus pandemic. The MLB season is scheduled to start July 23. The league announced full season schedules Monday on MLB Network

Fans will not be allowed to attend games early on but some teams haven't ruled out the possibility for attendance later in the season.

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The Reds begin their campaign against the Tigers from July 24-26 in Cincinnati, Ohio, then host the Chicago Cubs from July 27-30. The Reds travel for a three-game series against the Tigers from July 31 to August 2 in Detroit.

The Tigers had a 47-114 record in 2019, the worst in baseball. Cincinnati also has the easiest strength of schedule through the first two weeks of the 2020 season, as the Reds' early opponents owned a .437 winning percentage last season.

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MLB teams will play 40 of the 60 games against teams in their divisions, with 10 match-ups against each team. The other 20 games will be against teams in corresponding geographical regions. The Reds' six matchups against the Tigers are more than they have against any other American League Central franchise.

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The Reds posted a 75-87 record and finished in fourth place last season in the National League Central. Cincinnati is a popular underdog favorite in 2020 after the franchise made a series of moves this off-season, which included signing Pedro Strop, Nick Castellanos, Wade Miley, Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama.

The Reds' first game is scheduled to begin at 6:10 p.m. EDT July 24 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The first MLB games are scheduled for July 23, first with a clash between the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals and New York Yankees at 7:08 p.m. EDT at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The second game will feature the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at 10:08 p.m. EDT at Dodger Stadium.

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Baseball kicks off with preseason training

Kansas City Royals batter Alex Gordon connects for a sacrifice RBI during an exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on July 22. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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