Seeing Red: Reds at Dodgers Series Preview

Reds Are In A Major Funk Heading to Los Angeles

The slumping Cincinnati Reds head to Chavez Ravine to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a four-game series this weekend in a matchup of two teams headed in different directions. The Reds vs Dodgers MLB odds have the Dodgers as -330 moneyline favorites with them favored by -155 at -1.5 runs on the runline. The run total is 7.5 runs.

Cincinnati, which just dropped two of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks and hasn’t won a series in nearly a month, is desperate to get its young offense on track while Los Angeles took a series from the Giants and is now 13 games over .500.

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After losing a series to the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers bounced back against their rival San Francisco Giants. Even with a loss in Wednesday’s finale, Los Angeles is playing really good baseball right now. Shohei Ohtani is 7-for-14 since missing a game with some back tightness, the lineup depth is starting to click and the rotation looks formidable once again.

This is as well-rounded a team as you’ll see in baseball which is why it has such good MLB odds to win the World Series.

There’s never a good time to play the Dodgers but it’s fair to say that now is a particularly inopportune moment for the Reds. Cincinnati has won just two of its last 14 games, turning a somewhat promising start into a last-place standing in the NL Central. Things aren’t getting any easier for the Reds and they’re in danger of sliding into an even deeper funk.

Reds logo Reds vs Dodgers Dodgers logo

Records: Cincinnati Reds (18-25), Los Angeles Dodgers (29-16)
Day/Time:

Location: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Streaming: MLB Network

Dodgers’ Rotation Is Scary

To make things worse for the Reds, the Dodgers have their top four pitchers set to throw in this series. Ace Tyler Glasnow goes on Thursday followed by James Paxton, Walker Buehler, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Despite all the injuries, Los Angeles’ starters are 6th in baseball in ERA and that’s largely due to Glasnow, Paxton, and Yamamoto with ERAs in the high-2s or low-3s. With these guys on the tilt, it’s no wonder the Reds vs Dodgers MLB odds are one-sided.

The wild card so far is Buehler who has made two starts since coming back from Tommy John surgery but hasn’t looked good in either of them. The Dodgers are still closely controlling his pitch counts yet with how hard he has been hit — 11 hits in 7 1/3 innings with three home runs — he hasn’t given them a reason to extend his leash, so to speak. If you want MLB picks for his start on Saturday, that’s when you may consider taking Cincinnati.

Otherwise, Glasnow has been hard to touch all season and while Paxton and Yamamoto have been a little more susceptible to damage — Paxton because of his walk problem, Yamamoto because of the home run ball — they have been, for the most part, really good.

And, with how good the Dodgers’ bullpen (4th in ERA) and lineup (1st in average/OBP/OPS/runs) are, the starters don’t need to be incredible. It doesn’t matter who is on the MLB schedule, this team just gets the job done.

Elly Needs Some Help

Folks did not expect Cincinnati’s lack of offense as the reason for their struggles. After a surprise 82-win year in 2023, Cincinnati was a popular pick to win the NL Central as a young team on the rise.

However, so far in 2024, David Bell’s Reds have seen firsthand how difficult it is to be a consistent winner in MLB. It is actually a lack of run production — outside of superstar Elly de la Cruz, who does it all for Cincinnati — that is why the Reds vs Dodgers MLB odds are down on Cincinnati.

De La Cruz has nine home runs, 21 RBIs, 26 stolen bases, and a team-high 140 OPS+. No other Red regular has an OPS+ of higher than 115 and most bats in the Cincinnati lineup have been well below league average.

The Reds are 16th in runs scored and the bottom-six in average, on-base percentage OPS. This is despite De La Cruz being in the MLB stats leaders in a few categories. The young rotation has held its own and, outside of closer Alexis Díaz struggling at times with his control, the bullpen has been serviceable.

At this point, it’s really on the offense outside of De La Cruz to get going even without some key pieces. But, against the Dodgers‘ rotation (and lineup), LA is still a heavy -330 moneyline favorite and is worth a bet at -155 on the runline. The 7.5 run total is a low so consider taking the over too.

For MLB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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