Reds vs Dodgers Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Friday, July 28

Reds vs Dodgers Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Friday, July 28 article feature image

Via Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Miller #70 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on July 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Reds vs. Dodgers Odds

Friday, July 28
10:10 p.m. ET
Reds Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-104 / -118
Dodgers Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-104 / -118
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

The Reds are coming off a disappointing series against the Brewers but can still say they've won six of their last eight as they remain firmly in the conversation in the NL Central. The road won't get much easier against the Dodgers, but Brandon Williamson has begun to right the ship in recent starts.

Can Williamson remain steady, or will Bobby Miller and the Dodgers get the best of the Reds here? Let's break down Friday's Reds vs. Dodgers matchup along with a betting pick below.

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Cincinnati Reds

As noted above, Cincinnati is gearing up to start Williamson, a 25-year-old lefty out of TCU who came over from Seattle in the Jesse Winker trade. Williamson has never been a particularly special pitcher, posting an ERA north of four runs in the minors ever since joining the Reds organization and posting a 6.62 ERA in eight starts down in Triple-A this year.

His big-league career got off to a rocky start in 2023, but he's been much better in July, pitching to a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings with 17 strikeouts. His Expected Batting Average has dropped to .224 in July after sitting above .280 in his first two months, so with the league average sitting at .245, it's fair to say he's excelled at pitching to contact over his last four starts. Williamson's strong 41.2% Ground Ball Rate has certainly played a role in his success this month.

Despite all the excitement surrounding their top prospects, the Reds' offense has been pretty much the same over the last couple of weeks. They are dead last in wRC+ over the last two weeks and have struck out in a whopping 27.2% of plate appearances while walking in just 6.6%.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are starting to look like the Dodgers at the plate, riding a 125 wRC+ over the last two weeks into this game. Their Walk Rate is a robust 12.4% during that span as they've posted a strong .174 Isolated Power.

Most importantly, L.A. has remained a heavy fly-ball team with a very low 38.4% Ground Ball Rate over the last 14 days. That may change with the likes of Enrique Hernandez and Amed Rosario joining the fold, but those two should add a layer of variety to a lineup filled with very similar hitters.

Moving on to the pitching matchup here, I'm still trying to figure out who Bobby Miller is. I mean, I know he was a first-round pick a few years ago out of Louisville who throws absolute gas. It's just hard to figure out if he's going to sell out for strikeouts at the big-league level or become a more well-rounded pitcher.

Miller's Strikeout Rate through the Double-A level was above 30%, but he struck out just 19.7% of hitters down in Triple-A this year to post a 5.65 ERA. His Strikeout Rate in the bigs now stands at 23.2%.

With that said, Miller's Whiff Rate has increased every month. It began at 19.8% in May and has risen all the way to 28.6% in July, but he's still managed to post a 4.41 ERA in three July starts. This is likely because his Ground Ball Rate has decreased with every passing month.

So, it's hard to really figure this guy out. Miller clearly has big-time swing-and-miss ability with his stuff, but this season he's actually been at his best when he was rolling up ground balls and sacrificing some strikeouts.

It's also worth noting that he had a 55.1% Ground Ball Rate down in Triple-A last year when he posted a 3.38 ERA in four starts, but that regressed to 40% in his four starts down there this season, which led to a 5.65 ERA.

Reds vs. Dodgers Betting Pick

This is going to be a picture-perfect matchup for Miller. Not only are the Reds striking out over 27% of the time, but they're also 11th in Ground Ball Rate over the last two weeks.

On the flip side, the Dodgers remain one of the best in baseball at keeping the ball off of the ground, and that should really hurt Williamson here. The lefty has relied heavily upon ground-ball outs, and to make matters worse, he's struggled with walks — which is never a good thing when you're facing the uber-patient Dodgers.

The Dodgers are deserving favorites here given the pitching matchup, and I'm going to lay the runs with them at -120 at FanDuel.

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