The Cincinnati Reds' season didn't start terribly. They won on opening day against the defending champion Atlanta Braves. They took one more game in that series for a 2-2 start.
Since then, they're 1-18.
If you've bet the Reds at all since that Braves series, condolences to your bankroll. The Reds aren't just the worst MLB team for bettors, they're the worst by a mile. Covers.com tracks how much a team would have won or lost for a bettor who put $100 on them in every game. Reds bettors would be down $1,541 less than a month into the season. No other team has a loss of more than $629.
That's one wretched start to the season.
Reds have been miserable
It's hard to figure out what has been worse for the Reds this season, their hitting or their pitching.
The Reds offense has been awful. Their .583 OPS as a team is the worst in the majors. Jonathan India, who won rookie of the year last season, is on the IL. Joey Votto is off to an impossibly bad start, slugging a microscopic .135, and he just went on the COVID-19 list. Nobody in the lineup is standing out much.
Cincinnati's pitching might be worse. Their team ERA of 6.12 is a full run higher than any other team. The Pittsburgh Pirates rank second-to-last with a 4.99 ERA.
When you have the worst offense and worst pitching in baseball, you're going to be bad. You're going to be "lose 18 of 19" bad.
On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Reds 6-3. Even though it was a save situation, the Brewers didn't use star closer Josh Hader in that game. They said afterward that Hader had mid-back spasms, and while there's no reason to believe they're lying, it's also worth wondering if they knew the Reds weren't going to hit whoever they put on the mound in the late innings.
The Reds are now 500-to-1 to win the World Series at BetMGM, if you like wasting money.
Reds losing a ton on run line too
It's not just that the Reds are bad against the moneyline. They've been shockingly bad on the run line.
Even if you give the Reds +1.5 runs, the have a 6-17 record on the run line. They aren't just losing, they're losing just about every game by multiple runs. Covers.com has the Reds at a $1,205 loss for hypothetical bettors placing $100 on the Reds' run line every game. That's the biggest loss for any team, far ahead of the second-worst team (Washington at a $643 deficit).
The reason the Reds are losing far more money than every other team isn't just that they're bad, it's that nobody expected them to be this bad. They were 83-79 last season and finishing about .500 in a weak NL Central didn't seem like too much to ask. Nobody figured on them having a .130 winning percentage.
Before the team's home opener, Reds president and CFO Phil Castellini inexplicably ripped fans who were upset with ownership, famously asking the fans "Well, where are you going to go?" On that day, the Reds' 1-18 streak started. The answer to Castellini's question might be to go straight to the betting window to take whoever Cincinnati is playing that day.