Sunday MLB Preview – Reds at Dodgers

The Dodgers send one of the best daytime pitchers in baseball to the hill in facing off against the NL Central-leading Reds.

Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers

Cincinnati had its season-high seven-game win streak snapped in Saturday’s 8-5 loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.  The Reds lead is now 3 1/2 games in the NL Central race with the Cardinals grabbing a victory over the Giants.  “You get spoiled winning,” Baker said.  “When you’re winning a lot, you think you’re going to win every game even though you know you’re not.”  The club is 4-4 on the West Coast this season, but is still a dismal 17-36 on the West Coast over the last five seasons, which included a 12-game losing streak at today’s venue.  Cincinnati has compiled a 22-11 record since the All-Star break that gives them the second-best record in the majors over that span.  The Reds have also produced a 14-2-1 mark in their last 17 series.  It’s important to note the team is just 8-11 when playing winning opponents in the second half of the season (-330).

Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo is 13-7 with a 3.87 ERA in 25 starts this season and the team has alternated wins and losses in his last three outings.  In those appearances, he has allowed six earned runs and 17 hits over 19.1 innings of work.  The right-hander is 8-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 13 road starts, giving up just 73 hits in 89 frames.  He will be making his 12th daytime start, producing a 5-4 mark and 3.24 ERA, issuing 32 walks and compiling 42 strikeouts.  In 11 career outings (10 starts) versus the Dodgers, Arroyo has posted a 2-4 mark and 4.21 ERA, including a 7-1 home victory on June 17.  In that game, he allowed just a single run despite issuing a season-high six walks in seven innings.

Los Angeles continued its recent dominance of the Reds at home, winning 13 of its last 14 home games in this series.  Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez returned to the lineup on Saturday, but went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and left the game after five innings.  “He just gives us more credibility in the middle of the lineup,” manager Joe Torre stated.  The team team slugged back-to-back homers twice in a game for the first time since 1996.  Los Angeles is 17-16 in games against the NL Central and has eight games remaining against the division this season.  The starting rotation has carried the club over the past 11 games, posting nine quality starts over that span, while compiling a solid 2.38 ERA.  The Dodgers have produced a losing 14-16 daytime mark this season (-390) and the total is 12-16 O/U in those games.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw is 11-7 with a 3.03 ERA in 25 starts this season and snapped a two-game losing streak in his last outing.  He picked up a 6-0 home victory against the Rockies in his last start, tossing seven shutout innings and picking up six strikeouts.  The left-hander has a 7-3 record and 3.07 ERA in 14 home starts, allowing opponents to hit for a .205 combined average.  Kershaw is a perfect 4-0 in the daytime and ranks fourth in the National League with a 1.60 ERA in six starts under the sun.  He is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in two career starts versus the Reds, holding hitters to a .212 average and collecting 18 strikeouts in 14.1 frames.

Bettors must watch the line in this contest, as the Reds are 10-4 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 (+760), but just 5-4 away from Cincinnati if the line falls between +125 to +150).  Los Angeles has produced a 15-7 mark as a home favorite of -125 to -150 in 2010 (+540) and 48-27 record in this situation the last three campaigns.

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