Reds vs. Dodgers MLB Odds & Picks: How to Back Julio Urías Against Cincinnati (Monday, April 26)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Urias
- The Dodgers are coming off a tough series loss at home to San Diego.
- The Reds have been scuffling of late after losing Mike Moustakas to injury.
- How should you bet their Monday matchup? Kenny Ducey breaks it down.
Reds vs. Dodgers Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (+105 / -125)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
After losing a grueling four-game set to their in-state rivals at home, the Los Angeles Dodgers will look to blow off some steam when they welcome in the Cincinnati Reds, who have really cooled off after a hot start at the plate.
The Dodgers will hope Julio Urías can be their stopper, while the Reds will be expecting another strong outing from the young, talented Tyler Mahle. Will we be treated to a pitchers’ duel, or will one of these offenses wake up? Let’s take a further look at the matchup and find out.
Things just couldn’t be going worse for the Reds. They have now lost a crushing seven straight games, scoring six combined runs over the last three. A team that jumped out to a fast start in the NL Central race has now been swept by division rival St. Louis and the unimposing Diamondbacks in back-to-back series.
Though it’s not the sole reason the team’s playing uninspiring baseball, Mike Moustakas getting shelved with an illness certainly dealt a crushing blow to a team already teetering on the edge of regression. Moose may return as early as Tuesday, but for the time being this offense is still struggling.
Cincinnati has particularly struggled against left-handers, against whom they rank 23rd with a 92 wRC+. That’s compared to an offense that hits righties to the tune of a 113 wRC+, which ranks fourth in baseball. Of specific concern is the performance of Eugenio Suárez, who normally powers the middle of this order but has slashed .141/.253/.308 with three homers. The Reds have gotten some decent production elsewhere, like from the surprising Tyler Naquin, but having no big bopper with Moustakas down has really hurt them.
Then there’s Mahle, who finally seems to be good after years and years of talk about his potential. Mahle posted an impressive 3.59 ERA in 2020 and has followed that up by allowing just four earned runs on nine hits in 20 1/3 inning so far in 2021 across four starts. The righty’s strikeout rate has jumped up roughly 9% to a blistering 38.8%, though with the strikeouts have come more walks as well. The Dodgers will represent Mahle’s litmus test, after shutting down the Diamondbacks (twice), Giants and Cardinals lineups. This will be multiple levels up in competition.
Los Angeles Dodgers
There’s not a whole lot to say about the Dodgers that we haven’t already said at this point. This is a really, really good team that’s been dealt some blows early on, losing Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux to injury. When Bellinger went down, Zach McKinstry emerged as a suitable replacement, but now he too is injured. That’s forced some rookies and unidentifiable hitters into action, and as a result the bottom half of this order has looked fairly easy to navigate for opposing pitchers.
Urías has been outstanding dating back to 2019, providing the Dodgers shut-down innings both out of the bullpen and in the rotation. Now starting games full time, he’s been outstanding. Urías has shined in 2021 with a 2.81 ERA, an improved 26% strikeout rate and an elite 28.6% hard-hit rate once again. He’s coming off a ridiculous 11-strikeout performance in seven shutout innings against Seattle last week and will look to keep generating swings and misses against a team that ranks 11th in strikeout rate (25.9%) against lefties.
It’s also noteworthy here that Kenley Jansen rested on Sunday, so while it may appear on the surface that the Dodgers’ bullpen would be taxed here, they will at least have their closer, and also Blake Treinen, fresh and ready to go.
The Dodgers looked like they may never lose again, but have now lost five of seven and need to get back on track here. Urías is the man for the job, not only looking stunning this season but holding a huge splits advantage against a Reds team that is down bad and couldn’t ever hit lefties to begin with.
With that, I think this game should not feature many runs for the Reds. I’m a Mahle believer, but he hasn’t faced anyone near the level offensively of the Dodgers. This is a tough game to find value; I am drawn to the under with two pitchers who have been great, but a 7.5 total leaves little room for error against a team that can hit like the Dodgers. I am putting my faith in Urías, and think the Dodgers can scratch across at least two runs against Mahle to get us this First Five bet.
Pick: Dodgers First Five -0.5 (-124)
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