The Los Angeles Dodgers (44-36, 25-15 home) have gone through their toughest losing skid of the season, dropping 7 consecutive games while mustering just 5 runs combined through one of the driest stretches of offense in recent memory. Looking to find some momentum and try to build off their first win in well over a week of play, Los Angeles will try to jump out early in this week’s new series against the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds (43-35, 20-19 away), who come to town for a 3-game set at Dodger Stadium. With game time slated for 10:10 PM ET, there’s plenty of opportunity to check out the options for online sports betting on tonight’s featured National League game, so let’s start by taking a look at the pro’s and cons of wagering on one team or the other tonight.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers, there is no question that some confidence will be gained after last night’s 8-3 victory over the New York Mets, which gave ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw his first win in his last 4 starts. The Dodgers took advantage of three big errors by the Mets to score 6 unearned runs, and while it wasn’t a pretty way to break out of a slump at the plate, anything will do for the Dodgers, who remain depleted at the plate with Matt Kemp, Mark Ellis and Andre Ethier all still out of the batting order. The Dodgers plan will thus be to simply find a way to win, and make it into the All-Star break as healthy as possible, as it appears that all three of these Dodger starters will be set for a return on July 13th, the first possible game for LA after the All-Star break. Hopefully, someone will be able to step up in the meantime to give the Dodger rotation a break, starting with Chad Billingsley (4-7, 4.18 ERA), tonight’s starter against Cincinnati, who has been struggling a bit in his last three outings on the mound, losing all three decisions. After helping the Dodgers win 4 times during his previous 5 starts before the current run of poor form, timing could be just right for the Dodgers to break out again this evening against the Reds’ struggling Homer Bailey (5-6, 4.42 ERA), who has given up 8 runs in just his last 9 innings of work over 2 starts.
In tonight’s pitching duel, it will be interesting to see which pitcher is able to rebound from a run of poor showings, but the upper hand match-up wise has to go to Bailey, who’s had better success against the Dodgers than Billingsley has had against the Reds. Billingsley has the highest ERA against any team over the last 3 years in this match-up, going 3-2 with a 7.53 ERA in 6 starts. The Reds’ hitters are holding a .372 average against him, something that doesn’t bode too well for Billingsley especially Joey Votto set to come back from missing a day with knee inflammation. Votto is 8-for-21 (.381) lifetime against Billingsley, and is hitting a ridiculous .350 on the season with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs. The NL starting first baseman for the All-Star game, this guy will be one to watch out for at the plate against Billingsley tonight. For Homer Bailey on the other hand, he’s been relatively more successful in this match-up than Billingsley has, posting a 4.70 ERA with 2-1 record in 4 starts over the past 3 seasons. The Dodgers are hitting .290 off him, but unfortunately a big dose of that inflated average has come from Matt Kemp and Mark Ellis who both have hit above .360 against the Reds’ starter. Take away those two guys, and the only players with any success against Bailey are Jerry Hairston Jr. (1-for-3), and Juan Uribe (2-for-5). That says that Bailey should have the better shot at improving his recent run of poor form, based on the fact that the Dodgers simply have not seen him all that much during his career, and without a major power hitting section to contend with Cincinnati’s, a good effort on the mound from Bailey will have LA right back in the losing column once again.
Betting Lines for the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds at Betonline Sportsbook.
Despite the Dodgers’ recent run of poor outings, their still coming in tonight as equals to the Reds on the money line, with -105 odds going to each team straight up. That could be due to the fact that Cincy has struggled a bit on the road recently, losing 4 of their last 6 games away from home, but with a better batting order and a better pitcher by historical figures in this match-up, we find it hard not to lean towards the Reds as the best option for wagering on straight up this evening.
Against the spread, the Dodgers will get -175 odds to cover 1 ½ runs, while Cincinnati will sit at +155 odds to pull within 1 ½ runs this evening. This may again bode well for Reds’ backers, as Bailey is by far and away a better pitcher on the road, going 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA while opponents are hitting just .229 against him. Billingsley is just 1-3 at home in 8 starts this season, allowing opponents to hit .299.
For the total runs line, the over/under is very subdued based on the Dodgers’ recent penchant for not hitting the baseball, with 7 runs being the mark to beat or stay under. Despite LA’s woes at the plate, this match-up may be one worth chasing the over bet, considering Billingsley’s poor history at home and against the Reds, who have plenty of pop in their batting order to rough him up again. With both pitchers struggling a bit at the plate as well, the -110 odds taking the over total runs looks awfully tempting.
With the Dodgers looking to pull back a half-game on the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, and with Cincinnati trying to put another half game on their slim lead over the Pirates in the NL Central division, this Game 1 showdown should be a great contest to watch and wager on this evening, so head on down to Betonline sportsbook for the best odds and the easiest way to wager on the internet, and hopefully come out on top to start off the new week with a bang!