The best team in the National League travels to the Midwest to face off against the biggest underperforming team in the NL. While it is expected for the Dodgers to be great, the Reds boast one of the best pitching staffs but can’t win games. They’re hoping to get their season back on track by knocking off the top dogs in the NL.
Money Line – Los Angeles Dodgers -126, Cincinnati Reds +116
Run Line – LAD -1.5 (+120), CIN +1.5 (-140)
Over/Under – 9.5 (O -105, U -115)
First Pitch – 6:10 p.m. CST Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
Los Angeles Dodgers
I feel like we have seen this before. An amazing Dodgers team during the regular season that just plows through the National League, but in the end, can’t win it all. However, I have a feeling this year might be different, mainly because of Cody Bellinger. Bellinger is easily the front runner for the NL MVP a quarter of the way through the season. His slash line is better than my characters in MLB the Show while playing on easy. .401/.481/.770 is insanely good for Bellinger. Couple that with a 1.250 OPS, and it is hard to see how anyone will get Bellinger out. However, it doesn’t help the Dodgers that Alex Verdugo is the only other player hitting over .300 on the year. The rest of the team needs to start hitting better if they want to finally get over the hill.
Speaking of hill, Rich Hill gets the start for Friday’s game. The 39-year-old is making only his fourth start on the year, and he is hoping it is a good one to rebound from a tough start. He is only averaging five innings an outing right now and has allowed five homeruns over those 15 innings. Hill should like playing the Reds though because they are bad at scoring runs.
Is there something in the water in Ohio? Both baseball teams from the state are bad at hitting and great at pitching. The Reds currently rank dead last in the NL in batting average. For their OBP, SLG, and OPS they are ranked 12 in the NL. That is just plain bad. It is the only reason that the Reds are sitting in the cellars of the NL Central. It also makes me feel bad for the amazing pitchers on the Reds. As a team, the Reds have the best team ERA in the NL and have allowed the least amount of runs in the NL. Luis Castillo is looking like an early CY Young candidate. Even their “worst” starting pitcher, Anthony DeSclafani, is pitching alright with a 4.17 ERA. DeSclafani gets the start on Friday and will have tough work facing a team that slugs .478 against right-handed starters.
Analysis and Prediction
The best for this game is clearly the under at -115. When these two teams met for a three-game set in the middle of April, the under hit for every single game. The under for those games were also only 7.5, 8.5 and 8. An under of 9.5 is too good to pass up. I also like the Reds on the money line at +116. The Dodgers are the overall better team, but I don’t trust the arm of Rich Hill to get the job done on the road.