Fresh off a series win against the New York Mets, the Cincinnati Reds (10-27) head west to face the Los Angeles Dodgers (16-20) in a four game weekend series.

The Dodgers come into the series a team that has not performed like people thought they would at the start of the season. Injuries have played a huge impact in that. Shortstop Corey Seager is out for the remainder of the year, Clayton Kershaw is on the DL, and Justin Turner likely won’t be back until next week.

The Dodgers rank 5th as a team in the National League in AVG and just ahead of the Reds at 6th in OBP. The Dodgers are not a home run hitting team, as they are tied with the Reds for 13th in the league with 32 home runs. The pitching staff is 8th in the NL with a 3.91 team ERA. Their pitchers are strike out hitters, striking out a total of 356 batters thus far this season, behind only the Washington Nationals.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Tyler Mahle 39.1 4.35 3.49 25.9% 6.8%
Walker Buehler 16.0 1.13 2.80 30.2% 11.1%

In Mahle’s last start against the Marlins, he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked none. He did give up two home runs, including a leadoff home run to Starlin Castro. Mahle has started seven times so far this season, and has surrendered two home runs in each of four of those starts.

Mahle’s home run to fly ball ratio (HR/FB) sits at 23.7%, much higher than previous years. He’s already given up nine home runs this season. His career high for most home runs in a season is 12, at Double-A Pensacola in 2016. However, Mahle’s FB% is not higher than previous years, so it would seem that the fly balls he does give up are going over the fence more frequently.

Buehler is the Dodgers’ 2015 first round draft selection and the top pitching prospect in the organization. He pitched in eight games at the end of 2017 out of the bullpen, but has been a starter since being called up on April 23. In his last start, he pitched six no-hit innings and struck out eight, as part of a combined no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.

Since being called up, Buehler has given up only two earned runs in 16 innings, while striking out 19. He hasn’t allowed a home run yet. The only concerning thing right now for the Dodgers would be the seven walks, but that could be jitters from being in the big leagues. Buehler mostly throws a fastball and a slider, and mixes in a curveball. He also throws a changeup, but very infrequently thus far.


1. Jesse Winker (RF)
2. Adam Duvall (LF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Alex Blandino (SS)
8. Tyler Mahle (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Chris Taylor (SS)
2. Joc Pederson (CF)
3. Yasmani Grandal (C)
4. Cody Bellinger (1B)
5. Matt Kemp (LF)
6. Chase Utley (2B)
7. Yasiel Puig (RF)
8. Max Muncy (3B)
9. Walker Buehler (P)

-Adam Duvall hits a walk-off home run and gets moved up to the second spot in the lineup. He’s hitting .176 with an OBP of .261.

-Alex Blandino gets the start tonight. This is a good thing, even though it means Jose Peraza sits.

News and Notes

-The Reds made a front office move today.

-Matt Harvey joined the Reds in LA today. He will pitch during one of the games this weekend.

-Tony Cingrani will not be facing his former team this series, as he was placed on the DL Wednesday.

Final Thoughts

The Reds have a chance to make it three wins in a row, the longest such streak in 2018. It won’t be easy as we all know how hard it is for the Reds to win on the West Coast.

And the Dodgers have owned this team the past couple of years. The Reds haven’t won a game against LA since August 2016 and a game at Dodger Stadium since August 13, 2015. (Keyvius Sampson was the winning pitcher in that game). Last season, the Reds lost six games to the Dodgers in a span of a week and a half in June, and during that time, the record went from from 29-31 to 29-39. But it’s a brand new season, and anything is possible in baseball.


39 Responses

  1. Shchi Cossack

    In Nick Krall’s 1st official day as the Reds GM, the OF rotation remains alive and well and Adam Duvall is hitting in the #2 hole. Things are certainly looking up, as in looking up at everyone in the standings.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      OUCH!! Duvall hitting in the second spot is a head scratcher for me but hopefully my skepticism will result in him getting on base 4 times tonight.

  2. CI3J

    I see the dogma of batting struggling hitters 2nd to “get them going” is still alive and well…. Welcome to the future, Reds fans!

  3. Ernest

    One of the worst hitters in baseball obviously should bat 2nd

    Logical move to send Finnegan down. He just has no command.

  4. Ernest

    Kyle Lohse released by the Royals, seems like a starter the Reds might pursue

  5. Shchi Cossack

    What an outstanding job by Kyle Crockett in the 7th for the Bats. Reed and Mitchell combined to plate 3 runs and leave the bases loaded with 1 out. Crockett squelches that noise with an infield popup and a fly ball to CF.

  6. J

    As long as Duvall sees nothing but fastballs, I’m sure this lineup will work just fine.

  7. Klugo

    You’ll be able to find Harvey at Club 64 after the game.

    • WVRedlegs

      What happened in NY, stays in NY. Harvey comes with a clean slate and a second chance. Give him that. If he mucks it up, he mucks it up. He has a lot on the line, he might surprise.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Even if he shows something they dump him at the deadline for scraps, which gives them salary relief… they traded meso to acquire an easier trade chip, since Harvey only makes 5M. What other reason is there, they can’t make a run and he is a free agent at the end of the year.

      • Sliotar


        It’s really an admission that the rebuild is not where the Reds have led us to believe it is.

        The Reds are paying to re-hab Matt Harvey, which Scott Boras will take for now in hopes of taking him to a bigger market this off-season as a free agent.

        When it’s written like that… can see why other teams supposedly in the same state as the Reds…the Braves, the Phillies….did not acquire him.

      • jim t

        I wouldn’t be so sure. He is familiar with the area after playing with Midland. The smaller market may just suit him. Unless he is absolutely lights out this year he has no chance of being moved at the deadline. He has had multiple surgeries. A contender is not likely to risk their season on a guy who has been injured and ineffective for at least 2 years. If he steps forward this year he can sign a one year deal and add to his resume. Would you sign a guy longterm with this kind of medical history??? If he works well with Darwin and regains some of his form he may just sign a short term deal and be back next year. He ain’t getting flipped at the deadline.

      • Jeff Reed

        I agree. Harvey is 29 and I’m sure he wants to revive his career. Even if he’s in Cincy for a few months, it could work out for both parties.

  8. TurboBuckeye

    Votto having a tough time with the glove tonight. Two in two innings 🙁

  9. Chuck

    This umpire is squeezing the top of the zone pretty tightly. That should’ve been a K against Grandal.

    • Indy Red Man

      Votto and the umps combined are going to make sure its a short night for Mahle. He has really good stuff tonite too! I like this kid alot! He’s throwing a good changeup tonite and a few sliders.

    • TurboBuckeye

      Yeah. Honestly I think Mahle has pitched really well tonight. He’s been robbed on a few pitches by the ump and Votto’s D has hurt.

      • Phil

        Maybe Joey shouldn’t use his undeserved gold glove on defense.

    • TurboBuckeye

      You could see JV apologizing to Mahle in the dugout after the break there.

  10. Sliotar

    Good news…only 1 run allowed.

    Bad news…it feels like it’s Friday already.

    Mahle gonna have plenty of innings to catch up with family and friends, at this rate.

  11. Chuck

    Wow a 9-pitch AB against the pitcher. Whew

  12. Indy Red Man

    I think the undefeated Matt Harvey era Reds are in trouble tonite. They never seemed to score more then 2 in LA when they had really good teams. The thick air makes the HR pretty rare and thats all the Reds have. The guys that can hit can’t run and the guys that can run can’t hit.

  13. Aaron Bradley

    This guy Buehler is something special… Seems like pitchers grow on trees for the Dodgers while the Reds could draft 20 of them in the first round for an entire decade and develop nothing. Cueto has been the only guy in recent memory that ever came thru their system and succeeded. So they signed Homer instead.

  14. Sliotar

    Buehler was great until this inning.

    But, Mahle was a Reds 7th rounder and even when he doesn’t have his “A” stuff like tonight (4BBs, only 2Ks), it sure feels like he is a keeper that just needs more time and polishing.

    Someone posted that Castillo and Mahle may end up being the 2/3 or even 3/4 in the rotation of the Next Good Reds Team (whenever that is). That prediction kind of feels right, though Castillo may still be the “ace”. Bringing in a good SP arm (not Matt Harvey, a good live arm) is starting to look like a must.

    • TurboBuckeye

      Couldn’t agree more. A solid 1 or even 2 would have a huge impact on the rotation.

  15. GreatRedLegsFan

    Dylan Floro, quietly, having an all-star type season, looks Reds stroke gold on him.

  16. TurboBuckeye

    Billy! Love to see me a triple

  17. GreatRedLegsFan

    Excellent bump by Blandino, even better RBI triple by Hamilton to score Tucker – Go Reds!

  18. Sliotar

    Good job, Blandino, too.

    Yesterday, bases loaded, 1 out…tried to jerk an inside pitch and popped out.

    Got to do what is expected (even if it is a sacrifice bunt…ugh) to keep getting the ABs and the exposure.

  19. TurboBuckeye

    So it looks like the Cincinnati Scooter Gennetts are winning a baseball game.

  20. GreatRedLegsFan

    Blandino, very sharp and secure at SS today, looks like it’ll be hard to bench him in the near future. On the other hand, Duvall looks totally lost at the plate, just hacking at any pitch, it’s a shame with his great defense at LF.

  21. GreatRedLegsFan

    Hard decisions to be made ahead, the IF is looking more & more crowded everyday with Suarez, Peraza, Gennett, Blandino, Sensel, Herrera (Dilson) & Long.

    • Aaron Bradley

      Well the young guys need regular playing time… they have options left… trade Scooter at the deadline if he has great numbers which he might.

      • Sliotar

        Scooter is making $5.7M

        Next season is his last of Arb…and he will be in his age 29 season.

        Guessing $9M Arb award (?)

        Look how little the Tigers got from Arizona for J.D. Martinez last trade deadline, with Martinez entering FA in winter.

        Scooter has to be dealt or walked away from. Giving him $9M to play on this team next year is a gross mis-allocation of resources and playing time.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Probably true, but seems to be one of the few guys bringing his A game offensively most nights. But his defense and age are working against him.

  22. Aaron Bradley

    I just wonder how different this season would be if those 2 Scooter blasts had gone out vs the Phillies instead of getting robbed. Then again I think Price had to go, this team def has more fight with Riggleman managing.