The Los Angeles Dodgers (9-8) will host the Cincinnati Reds (5-9) for the start of a three-game series starting on Monday.
The Dodgers were able to put an end to a six-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. Ross Stripling pitched as though he had somewhere else to be. The former All-Star threw 88 pitches in a career-high eight innings to rescue an overworked bullpen, inducing soft contact rather than dazzling with high velocity. Stripling became the first Dodgers starter to throw eight innings this season when the bullpen has been stressed in the first full month.
“In an ideal world they’d all go eight,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Ross understood our situation and was efficient.”
Ace is Back
The Dodgers’ rotation has been without Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill since the season began. Hyun-Jin Ryu got hurt earlier in the week when the team lost four straight in St. Louis, putting more pressure on the bullpen. Kershaw is due back Monday and Hill appears to be close behind.
“I don’t think any of us got more than five innings,” Stripling said of the St. Louis series. “To get through eight, definitely proud of that.”
Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo homered to help the Dodgers avoid back-to-back sweeps for the first time since 2017 when they last dropped seven games in a row. Los Angeles leads the National League with 35 home runs and has homered in 15 of 17 games. Kershaw makes his season debut against Cincinnati Monday after left shoulder inflammation limited him in spring training.
After beginning the season 1-8, the Reds were able to win four-straight games before falling to the Cardinals on Sunday 9-5.
Reds Seek Bounce Back
The Reds rallied to tie it with a four-run fifth off Miles Mikolas. An error by Matt Carpenter at third base set up an RBI double by Michael Lorenzen, and Jessie Winker’s three-run drive tied it. Winker has hit four home runs in his last five games. Yasiel Puig homered in the eighth to make it 9-5 and the Reds loaded the bases, but Jordan Hicks retired pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer on a grounder to escape.
Puig makes his return to Dodger Stadium on Monday. RHP Luis Castillo (1-1, 0.92 ERA) starts for the Reds – he struck out at least eight and given up no more than two hits in each of his first three starts this year. The Dodgers currently sit at second in the National League West. LA is two games behind the 11-6 San Diego Padres.
The Reds are ranked fourth in the NL Central, but are just four games behind the first place Brewers (10-6).
If the Dodgers starting rotation can return to form then they’re going to be a tough team to beat with such a high-powered offense. The Reds will attempt to recover from their loss to the Cardinals and hope that Castillo can give them a good game on the road Monday.
Dodgers over Reds
In this game – despite Kershaw likely only going a few innings; the Dodgers are the pick here. Bet the Los Angeles Dodgers -165 over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday