Despite the obstacles, first-year manager Bryan Price has managed to guide the Reds to a 16-18 record entering Saturday. This is by no means living up to the expectations set for this team in the offseason. However, considering the amazing amount of injuries, bad luck, and the tough schedule, being two games below .500 at this point isn't so bad.
If you follow college basketball, you will know that RPI (Relative Power Index) is one of the most talked about measurements when sizing up teams. It's not so talked about among the baseball community, but it does exist. According to ESPN.com, which uses a basic formula consisting of 25 percent team winning percentage, 50 percent opponents' average winning percentage, and 25 percent opponents' opponents' average winning percentage, the Reds currently boast a .476 RPI. This puts the Reds squarely between the Rays and Pirates. Not exactly bad company. But you may be surprised to know that being between those teams gives the Reds the 5th worst (26th overall) RPI in Major League Baseball.
Although the Reds have seemingly played a tough schedule on paper, having already played majority of their games against playoff teams from a year ago, those teams (*cough* Pirates *cough* Rays *cough* Red Sox *cough*) all possess losing records at the moment, which doesn't help when crunching Cincy's RPI.
In fact, aside from the Cubs (.466), the Reds currently have the weakest strength of schedule (.477) among all 30 MLB clubs, which I found to be quite surprising.
You can check out more on ESPN's RPI by going here. You may also notice that ESPN has Cincinnati's expected win-loss total up until this point at 19-15. That would be nice if true.