MLB Preview 2012: Cincinnati Reds vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Cincinnati Reds (43-35) and Los Angeles Dodgers (44-36) will open up a three-game National League series on Monday night at Dodger Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:10 ET

Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers

Cincinnati Reds All-Star 1B Joey Votto is dealing with a minor injury

Cincinnati left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning and ended up suffering a 4-3 setback to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon in the Bay Area.  “That’s a tough one to lose,” commented Reds manager Dusty Baker.  The Reds played without the services of All-Star first baseman Joey Votto, who has been dealing with a minor knee injury, hitting safely in 14 of 15 games against the Dodgers since the 2010 campaign.  Cincinnati is 5-8 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “under” going 9-4 in those contests.

Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey (5-6, 4.42 ERA) has dropped his last two decisions, including an 8-4 setback at home to the Milwaukee Brewers last time out, giving up five runs (four earned) and seven hits over four frames.  The right-hander has compiled a solid 4-2 record and 3.09 ERA in seven road outings, with opponents hitting just .229 against him.  In four career starts versus the Dodgers, Bailey has gone 2-1 with a 4.70 ERA, surrendering a single home run in 23 combined frames.

Los Angeles snapped its season-high seven-game losing streak with an 8-3 home win over the New York Mets on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, which has the club breathing a sigh of relief.  “We’re still in second place,” stated Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon.  The Dodgers have lost 11 of their last 12 games, scoring three runs or fewer in all but one contest.  Outfielder Andre Ethier has sat out the last four games with a strained left oblique, while All-Star Matt Kemp will not return to the lineup until after the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.  Los Angeles is 5-3 as a home underdog of +100 to +125 this year.

Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley (4-7, 4.18 ERA) has dropped his last three contests, including a 3-0 road setback to the San Francisco Giants in his last outing, giving up three runs and nine hits over six frames.  The right-hander will be making just his second home start since June, posting a 1-3 record and 4.30 ERA in eight starts at Dodger Stadium.  In 10 career games (nine starts) versus the Reds, Billingsley has gone 5-3 with a 4.84 ERA, including a 1-1 mark and 11.00 ERA in two efforts last year.

Bettors will likely back the Reds due to their 8-2 record in Bailey’s last 10 starts versus NL West foes, while the Dodgers are 4-10 in their last 14 home games.

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