After losing three of four games against the San Diego Padres over the weekend, the Los Angeles Dodgers start a new week on Monday at home against the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers are modest favorites with a moneyline of -180 compared to Cincinnati at +150. The game also has an over/under of 7.5 runs.
The Reds head to Los Angeles nursing a seven-game losing streak. Cincinnati has gone from 9-5 to 9-12 thanks to back-to-back sweeps at the hands of the Diamondbacks and Cardinals. The Reds have now dropped to last in the NL Central and are facing the last team anybody wants to see during a long losing streak.
Of course, the Dodgers haven’t exactly been world-beaters lately. As mentioned, they lost three of four over the weekend against the Padres, including an extra-inning game on Sunday night. Los Angeles has also lost five of seven games overall, giving the Dodgers a slim, one-game lead atop the NL West.
Me and Julio
The Dodgers can breathe easy knowing that pitcher Julio Urias is on the mound Monday night. Urias is 3-0 on the season with a 2.81 ERA, and the Dodgers are 4-0 in his starts. In his last start, Urias fired seven scoreless innings against the Mariners, allowing just one hit while striking out 11.
On top of that, Urias will be facing a lineup that has scored only six runs over its last three games. Infielder Mike Moustakas is currently on the injured list, which isn’t helping Cincinnati’s cause. But that doesn’t explain why the Reds have been so sluggish offensively.
Despite providing a little bit of power, infielder Eugenio Suarez and first baseman Joey Votto are struggling in 2021, with Suarez hitting a measly .141. Outfielder Jesse Winker has stepped up, batting .381, while fellow outfielder Tyler Naquin has come out of nowhere to hit six home runs in April. But Winker and right fielder Nick Castellanos are the only Reds producing over the past week.
Mahle and Me
Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle takes the mound for Cincinnati on Monday night. He’s been the team’s ace early in the season, posting a 1.74 ERA over his first four starts. The caveat is that he’s only managed to pitch more than five innings in a start once, leaving a lot up to the Cincinnati bullpen.
The upside of that is that Mahle is coming off his best start of the season. Last time out, he threw 6.2 scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks, striking out nine while only allowing five base runners. But the Dodgers offer a bigger challenge despite scoring two runs or less in five of their last eight games.
The trio of Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Max Muncy have all cooled off lately. Right fielder Mookie Betts is also struggling to get going while first baseman Cody Bellinger and infielder Zach McKinstry are on the IL. That leaves the Dodgers a little short-handed offensively these days.
Don’t Doubt Star Power
This is one of the lowest moneylines the Dodgers have had this season, so now is the time to strike. Despite a sluggish offense over the past week, Urias is bound to deliver a gem against Cincinnati. Plus, the Dodgers still have more stars in their lineup, so the smart bet is to take a chance on LA.
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