For those unfamiliar with the history between the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, the Ohio Cup is a yearly meeting between the two teams, recently dominated by the Indians. Both teams are getting set to face off in Cleveland for three games at Progressive Field this week.
The Reds are the only NL team the Indians see year in and year out and although the Indians have their sights sets on a much more illustrious trophy than the Ohio Cup; fans are always engaged because of the opportunity to watch their respective teams play for bragging rights. There is also a trophy involved for the winning team, but it is not quite the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Recent History Of The Cup
The Indians and the Reds have been going down two very different paths the last few seasons. The Indians have been chasing a World Series title while the Reds have been trying to rebuild, but that hasn’t stopped this series from being a compelling one for Ohio Sports fans.
2014: In 2014, the Reds took home the cup winning three of four games. The only game the Indians won that season was one that Corey Kluber started, shocking, right? The Reds took the last three with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, and Homer Bailey collecting wins. Jay Bruce, Ryan Ludwick, and Todd Frazier came up big on offense for Cincy. Jason Kipnis provided a lot of offense for the Tribe in the series going 6-17. The Reds would go on to win 76 games and the Indians just missed the playoffs by winning 85 games.
2015: The 2015 series was dominated by the Indians. The teams played a six-game series, with the Tribe winning five of the six games. The Reds won just 64 games and that showed when the two teams played. Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, and Trevor Bauer won games in the first series in Cleveland. Jason Kipnis, once again, had the Reds number as he went 6-12 and drove in three. When the teams met again in Cincy, the Reds took the first game of the series behind Mike Leake. Corey Kluber and Marc Rzepczynski picked up wins in the last two.
2016: The teams played a home and home four-game series in 2016. This was one of the best seasons in recent history for the Tribe as they came just a game shy of winning the World Series. For the Reds, it was the opposite and that showed in the Ohio Cup. The Indians took all four including 15-6 and 13-1 wins to make it back to back seasons winning the Ohio cup.
2017: The Indians were unable to make it three years in a row against the Reds in 2017. The series was a split, so by default, the Indians are still holding on to the trophy going into 2018.
The Indians are 49-42 against the Reds since 2000. Cleveland has clearly had a better roster for the last few years, but that doesn’t mean much in this series. The Reds have a strong offense and a team that is on the rise. Meanwhile, the Indians continue to just coast through the season with a big lead in the worst division in baseball.