10:10 p.m. ET – Reds at Dodgers (-195 ML) O/U: 7
The 9-12 Reds travel to Los Angeles to kick off a three-game series against the 15-7 Dodgers on Monday night. Cincinnati has lost seven games in a row, including losing three to the Cardinals over the weekend, getting outscored 12-6 over the course of the series. Los Angeles lost three of four to the Padres over the weekend, including an 8-7 loss in 11 innings on Sunday Night Baseball to close out the series.
About the Reds
Despite being three games under .500 and losers of seven games in a row, the Reds still lead all of Major League Baseball with 5.6 runs per game. They lead the big leagues in home runs on the season as well with 33 long balls in 21 games.
Left fielder Jesse Winker has emerged this year, ranking second in the National League in batting average at .381. Winker also has four home runs and 11 RBI in the early going. Right fielder Nick Castellanos has also begun the season on fire, batting .304 with 14 RBI. Castellanos also is tied for the Major League lead in home runs with seven.
Cincinnati is still waiting for first baseman Joey Votto and shortstop Eugenio Suarez to get going. Votto has at least had some promising moments even though he’s hitting only .217, but Suarez is hitting just .149 and has struck out 33 times, second in the NL only to Javier Baez of the Cubs.
The Reds also lost 2020 Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to these Dodgers in free agency this past offseason, and the ramifications have been massive on a Reds pitching staff that has struggled mightily without him anchoring it. Cincinnati is allowing five runs per game, the second-most in all of baseball.
About the Dodgers
Los Angeles is the favorite to successfully defend its World Series title and for good reason. Through 22 games, the Dodgers are averaging five runs per game, the sixth-highest in the MLB. Los Angeles has been led by third baseman Justin Turner in the early going, as the former Reds draft choice is batting .346 with five home runs and 19 RBI in the month of April.
The pitching staff has allowed only 3.5 runs per game, which is the third-fewest in all of baseball. Los Angeles’ roster is a well-oiled machine, from the batting order to the pitching staff. The truly scary thing for opponents is that superstars Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts have yet to heat up this season, and they undoubtedly will at some point. So the Dodgers have yet to reach their full potential, and if they do, this team is going to easily win 100 games.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Reds||+1½ (-135)||+165||O 7 (-125)|
|Dodgers||-1½ (+115)||-195||U 7 (+105)|
The Pitching Matchup
Right-hander Tyler Mahle is toeing the rubber for the Reds. Mahle has started the season 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA spread across four starts. Mahle was great his last time out against the Diamondbacks, going 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs.
Left-hander Julio Urias is 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA in four starts this season. Urias went seven innings in his last start against the Mariners, allowing only one hit and no runs. Urias boasts an impressive 26 strikeouts with only three walks so far this season.
What’s the Bet?
In a matchup between two elite starting pitchers, the best bet is to target a side for the first five innings. Despite the current losing streak, Cincinnati is capable of getting some runs across against Urias with the number of strong right-handed bats in the lineup.
Mahle should have another solid start against the Dodgers, who are coming off an emotional loss on Sunday night in extra innings against a division rival. The Reds bullpen has blown countless games this season, so it is wise to avoid letting them come into play at all. Back Cincinnati to catch Los Angeles off guard early on and win the first five innings on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.