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MLB Odds & Picks for Dodgers vs. Reds: Pitcher’s Duel to Be Expected in Cincinnati

MLB Odds & Picks for Dodgers vs. Reds: Pitcher’s Duel to Be Expected in Cincinnati article feature image

Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Gonsolin (Dodgers)

  • The Dodgers and Reds square off in what is expected to be a pitcher's duel.
  • L.A. will send Tony Gonsolin to the hill while Cincinnati will put Tyler Mahle on the bump.
  • Doug Ziefel breaks down the matchup and offers up a best bet.

Dodgers vs. Reds Odds

Dodgers Odds-188
Reds Odds+158
Time6:40 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to begin a series in the Queens City against the Cincinnati Reds. While this may seem like a significant mismatch on paper, the men on the mound are set to make this a tightly contested contest.

Getting the ball for the Reds will be their ace, Tyler Mahle. Mahle had a tough beginning to the 2022 season but has certainly begun to look like the breakout star he was last year.

Speaking of breakouts, the starter for the Dodgers may be in the midst of one this year. Tony Gonsolin has been outstanding thus far, as he enters with a microscopic 1.42 ERA.

Will these two combine for a pitcher’s duel? Or will the Dodgers start their next hot streak in the opening game of this series? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

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Look for Mahle to Contain Dodgers’ Lineup 

Mahle had a great deal of hype surrounding him entering this season, as he was a bright spot for this Reds team.

However, the Reds got off to a historically bad start, and Mahle was a part of that. He gave up 11 runs in his first two starts, which inflated his ERA all the way to seven. It has not fully recovered, but Mahle’s recent work has put a dent in it.

Since his rough start, Mahle has led the league in ERA to xERA differential, as his 4.46 ERA should be 3.24 when you factor in his performance alone.

The underlying numbers certainly back that up, as well. Mahle has done a great job of limiting solid contact, as he’s in the top 40 of all qualified pitchers in Average Exit Velocity and Hard-Hit Rate.

He’s also flashed his swing-and-miss stuff, as he’s amongst the top-30 percent in whiff and strikeout rate. All of that has equated to him having an XBA against of .220 and racking up 86 punch-outs in 74 innings.

As for the Dodgers’ bats, they are stacked on paper, but not all of the star power has lived up to the billing this season. Only Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Justin Turner have above-average expected batting averages.

We’ve seen Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy go through ice-cold stretches, and with Turner regressing as well, this Dodgers’ lineup is not as scary as it may seem.

Scuffling Reds No Match for Gonsolin 

We’ve seen Gonsolin be a pivotal part of the Dodgers’ success for the last few years. He’s been great in any role, but he’s proven he should be a fixture in the rotation this year. Gonsolin’s ERA is so low, not because he’s been overpowering his opposition, but because he forces consistent soft contact,

He’ll enter in the top-four percent of the majors in Hard-Hit Rate, which has vaulted all of his expected stats into the top-eight percent of the league.

His increased usage of breaking pitches has helped him make this giant leap in 2022. His slider and splitter usage are up two and one percent from last season, and while that may not seem like much, those pitchers have been highly effective.

Opposing batters are hitting just .118 off his slider and .106 off his splitter this year. Those two pitchers have not only been hard to square up but have been hard to hit in general. They each have whiff rates of 47.8 and 41.4%, respectively.

When it comes to the Reds’ lineup, there’s not much good to say about it anymore.

First, catcher Tyler Stephenson was playing at an all-star level but will be sidelined for the next month or so with a fractured thumb.

Secondly, reigning NL ROY Jonathan India has dealt with multiple injuries and has yet to regain his 2021 form.

In all, the Reds have struggled to put it all together at the plate and have a dreadful -39.5 offensive runs above average, which is the fourth worst in the majors.

Dodgers-Reds Pick

Mahle has been dominant of late, as he’s only surrendered four runs in the month of June. While the Dodgers’ lineup is a big step up in competition, he should give them trouble.

On the other side, there’s nothing that should ruin Gonsolin’s impressive campaign in this outing. The Reds have been poor offensively and are now even weaker, as their best bats have either not produced or are unavailable.

Take the under and enjoy the pitcher’s duel

Pick: Under 9.5

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