The Los Angeles Dodgers head into Cincinnati looking to avoid a letdown spot after a 9-6 win in Denver on Sunday. The Dodgers took two of three against the Rockies, with a 4-2 win on Friday and 4-2 loss Saturday. In what is the tightest division in baseball, the Rockies are still holding onto a slim 0.5-game lead in the NL West.
The Dodgers are the next team in line, while the Diamondbacks are still in the mix in a 2.5-game hole. Second place in the NL West might be good enough for a wildcard, but that belongs to the Brewers and Cardinals at the moment. The Cards were fortunate to avoid a sweep in Detroit with a win Sunday afternoon at Comerica.
Now the Dodgers head east to Cincinnati for a three-game series before heading to St. Louis. The Dodgers won’t see home until next Monday as they welcome the Rockies to their place. This Reds series looks like a walkthrough for the Dodgers, but that’s the dangerous thing about it. We hear about sandwich games in football, and this could be a sandwich series for the Dodgers.
With that said, these three games might come back to be big in a few weeks. Miss out on the postseason by a game, and they’ll look at their schedule in September and pinpoint the Reds as a missed opportunity. In other words, the Dodgers cannot overlook the Reds here. They will send out Alex Wood to the bump, while the Reds counter with third-year pitcher, Cody Reed. It’s lefty against lefty in Cincinnati. Head below for our free Dodgers vs. Reds pick.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Alex Wood (8-6, 3.37 ERA) vs. Cody Reed (0-2, 4.81 ERA)
Cody Reed recently got promoted to the starting rotation after making ten appearances in the bullpen. He made an early start in April, but this is the first time he has made two starts in a row in 2018. Reed was quickly demoted after getting hit for 4 hits and 5 runs in 3 innings. He just got his next chance and he made good on it against the Brewers, holding them to 1 runs across 4.2 innings.
He did, however, allow 4 hits and 3 walks in that duration. Reed paid for it in his next start, as the Pirates hammered him for 6 runs in a 7-3 loss. He enters with an ERA of 7.11 and 1.74 WHIP in his last three outings. Note that his numbers at night and during the day are vastly different, with a 1.23 ERA during the day vs a 6.35 ERA at night. Reed made one start a year ago and the Reds didn’t like what they seen. The year before in his rookie campaign, he made ten starts and finished with an ERA of 7.36.
Alex Wood heads into Cincinnati playing good baseball lately. He has an ERA of 2.25 in his previous three starts, allowing just 1 run in his last two outings. We have to go all the way back to June 3rd to find the last time he allowed more than 3 runs in a game. In five of his last six he’s given up 2 or less runs. Wood has also been fine on the road, as he goes into Cincinnati with a 3.22 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. I think the Dodgers just have to avoid showing up to the Great American Ball Park and take the Reds seriously. At this time of the year with the division on the line, they likely show up to handle business against the Reds.