Having ripped the Dodgers, 8-2, last night, the Reds face them again tonight in game two of the series. The
Dodgers are in a complete free fall at this point. Can they put an end to this
losing streak or not? We'll preview games two and three to see if L.A. can
get off the mat.
Dodgers dogs at home
It wasn't that long
ago that the Dodgers had the best record in baseball. Now, however, they find themselves
out of first place, just 6 games above .500, and losers of 8 of their last 10. It
was also not that long ago that I said that Don Mattingly was one of the worst
managers in the league, and that he was inevitably going to cost his team games. Furthermore, it wasn't all that long ago that I said this was NOT the best team in baseball - even though they owned the best
record at the time - and predicted they were a 5 game above .500 team at best. But, enough of
blowing my own horn. Without Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier, the Dodgers are
completely lost. They have been shut out in 5 of their last 10 games. To be fair, even with both of them in the lineup, the Dodgers still don't have a great offense. Besides those two superstars, they are surrounded by Dee Gordon, Tony Gwynn, Jr., Bobby Abreu, Mark Ellis, James Loney, Juan Uribe, Bobby Abreu, and Juan
Rivera. I mean, most, if not all, of those guys would be bench players on the Yankees or
Rangers. These are the Dodgers, and they aren't going on any monster run to regain the best record in baseball. They will stay hovering around the .500 mark for
the rest of the season until they get some major help in the lineup.
MLB odds makers initially had the Reds as -155 road favorites, but betting action has since lowered that number to -130. The total appears enticingly low at 6.5.
Chris Capuano (9-3)
has had a stellar season, already giving the Dodgers 100 IP while only giving
up 79 hits with an ERA of 2.69, 1.10 WHIP. Capuano has absolutely resurrected his reputation this season. But, here's the kicker for tonight's game: Reds' starter Johnny Cueto has been just as good, if not
better than, Capuano; plus, the Reds are red hot, no pun intended. Cincinnati now
sits at 44-35 on the year, good enough for first place in their division.
With Dodger SS Dee
Gordon being benched (on account of committing a MLB-high 17 errors),
the Dodgers trotted out the following lineup last night: Elian Herrera, AJ Ellis, Jerry
Hairston Jr., Juan Rivera, James Loney, Juan Uribe, Adam Kennedy, Scott Van Slyke, and Gordon's replacement, Luis Cruiz.
I mean, really???
Hairston Jr., Rivera and Loney hitting 3, 4 and 5? I'm sorry, but this lineup
stands absolutely no chance against Johnny Cueto, while the Reds lineup, on the other hand, will be
able to get Capuano. The Dodgers are in serious danger of getting shut out yet again. Even if the Reds muster just one run, that may very well be good enough in game two.
The Reds -117 are our
pick for Game 2.
teams will wrap up the series Wednesday and, as far as we're concerned, things won't look any better for L.A. They will send Aaron Harang to the hill. He has overachieved all year
and is now finally coming back to earth. In his last 3 starts alone, Harang has
lasted just 15 innnings with an insane WHIP of 2.09 and an ERA of 5.87. You
come into a game with a WHIP of 2.09 in your last three games against this Reds
lineup, and they'll SHELL you.
As for the Dodges'r offense, man. they just don't catch any breaks. As we see it, they don't have much chance of putting up runs against Mike Leake. Leake is hitting his stride right now, pitching the
best ball of the season. Over his last three outing, Leake has gone 24 IP, given up just
20 hits with a 1.50 ERA, and an outstanding WHIP of 0.92. Good luck to Don Mattingly
putting together that awful awful lineup, trying to scratch out runs against
these two pitchers, who are both looking
dominant at the moment. Look for the brooms to come out and
the Dodgers to get swept.