Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer

Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

MLB

Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Dodgers Series Preview

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The Reds look to bounce back from a two-game losing streak against one of the best teams in baseball.

Reds Record 2-4

Dodgers Record 3-2

Pitching Matchups 

Thursday – *Luis Cessa ( 0.00 ERA ) vs Walker Buehler ( 3.60 ERA )

Friday – Vladimir Gutierrez ( 4.15 ERA ) vs Tony Gonsolin ( 3.00 ERA )

Saturday – Hunter Greene ( 5.40 ERA ) vs Julio Urias ( 13.50 ERA )

Sunday – Tyler Mahle ( 1.00 ) vs Andrew Heaney ( 0.00 ERA )

* It appears in game one that the Reds will be using an opener. Luis Cessa will fill that role while rookie Reiver Sanmartin will pitch the middle innings. The thought process could be trying to force the Dodgers into starting a lefty-heavy lineup before bringing in Sanmartin and causing them to make a ton of lineup changes. 

What to watch for 

  • How will the Reds look against the lefties?

At the start of the year, I talked about how last season the Reds were horrible against left-handed pitching. On opening day, against a good lefty in Max Fried, they put up five runs in five innings. Was this a sign of good things to come? Or was it just a rough start for Max Fried?

  • Will the starting pitching be able to keep the Reds in the game?

The Reds are obviously aware of this concern which is one of the reasons they will be trying an opener in game one. Outside of that, they will be throwing a Rookie and a second-year pitcher against one of the better teams in the league. 

  • Cy Mahle?

Tyler Mahle has looked great through two starts and now will face his biggest test yet. We know how good his numbers are on the road but can he weather the storm of this dangerous Dodgers lineup? Mahle has looked much improved so far and a dominant start again could turn some heads.

  • Who is going to play third base?

I mentioned it last time and I will keep doing so until it’s not a noticeable issue. Mike Moustakas had another terrible series offensively but in his last at-bat, he blooped a single into center field. Maybe this will get him going or maybe it was just luck; either way, this team needs him to produce.

Keys to a series win 

  • Keeping games close 

The Reds have battled back in every game they’ve trailed, but none of those teams were the Dodgers. They have to avoid getting into a big deficit early in games so their comebacks can lead to a victory. 

  • Offensive explosion or Dominate pitching 

One of these things will have to happen in order to compete in this series. It will be hard to have dominant pitching performances so I am looking more at the offense. The offense has been steady so far but a west coast power surge would be huge for this road trip. The Reds have shown the ability to have great at-bats and they will need to combine that with some power to have real success in this series 

Series Prediction 

I think the Reds are looking at one win in this four-game series. If they can steal one of the first three games then their odds of splitting greatly increase. I like their odds in the series finale against Andrew Heany so getting a win early would be huge. A very tough task is in front of the Reds.

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