Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#905 Cincinnati Reds 8 vs.
#906 Los Angeles Dodgers -165
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 3:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers

When and Where: Wednesday, April 17, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif., 3:10 p.m. EDT.

Sonny Gray looks to add a win to his early season resurgence with the Cincinnati Reds as they wrap up a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon.

Gray again seeks first win with Reds

Gray (0-2, 2.03 ERA) has done everything but win a game for the Reds since being acquired via trade from the New York Yankees in January. The right-hander was on track for that victory Thursday against Miami, throwing four shutout innings, but he was forced out of Cincinnati’s 5-0 victory early due to a calf contusion suffered on a comebacker in the second inning.

“It did get me in a decent spot and it did kind of stiffen a little bit,” Gray told MLB.com. “Overall, I think it’s fine. I felt OK. I would have liked to compete and continue to go out there. We made the move to go to the bullpen and they put up five zeroes and we shut them out, won the game and swept the series. It was a great series for us.”

One key reason for Gray’s early improvement has been him cutting down on walks. After averaging 3.94 walks per nine innings last year with the Yankees, it is down to 2.70 after three starts, and all four walks came in his season debut.

Gray’s lone start against the Dodgers was a huge success, throwing a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in a 2-0 victory in 2015. David Freese is 7 for 23 lifetime versus the righty while Russell Martin is 4 for 18.

Buehler trying to shake early funk

Walker Buehler (1-0, 8.25 ERA) has been saved of a worse record thanks to healthy run support as the Dodgers have provided him 15 runs in his 12 innings. The problem is Buehler has given up 11 runs in those 12 innings while opponents are hitting .283.

Buehler was unable to grind his way to a win Thursday at St. Louis, giving up five runs in four innings and leaving without a decision before the Dodgers bullpen imploded in an 11-7 defeat.

“The first inning was good, the fourth inning was good, the middle ones in between not so much,” said Buehler, who struck out five and walked two, to MLB.com. “We’ll try to figure some things out, and I feel like we’re getting closer and I’m getting better, but I can’t let innings get away from me like that.”

The right-hander’s season debut March 31 versus Arizona was the first time in 13 seasons he allowed more than two runs in a start at home. Buehler is 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA at Dodger Stadium while holding opponents to a .170 batting average.

Buehler’s lone start against the Reds came last year and was a home loss despite limiting them to two runs and five hits in six innings of a 2-1 defeat. Joey Votto, who was moved into the leadoff spot for Tuesday’s game for the first time this season, is 2 for 3 against Buehler.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The pick here is Buehler gets back to pitching well at home before the Dodgers embark on their seven-game road swing through Milwaukee and Chicago. Los Angeles has scored at least seven runs in all of Buehler’s starts while giving him at least four to work with on all three occasions. This time he is able to use more of them in pitching the Dodgers to a win.

Prediction: Dodgers -180

Full-Game Total Pick

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This is right on the edge of feeling comfortable in picking against the over, so be vigilant about this line adding a hook in either direction before the first pitch. With Buehler expected to pitch better at home, it becomes contingent on Gray continuing to avoid walks like he has done in his previous two starts.

Prediction: UNDER 8.5 runs (-115)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The Dodgers have broken out the heavy lumber in series finales thus far, averaging 7.8 runs in the previous five closing games. Though the total over/under feels like it could go either way, there is confidence in the Dodgers putting up enough runs on the board to clear this number — they have scored five or more runs in 12 of their 19 games.

Prediction: Dodgers OVER 4.5 runs (-110)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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This is a confidence pick in the Dodgers scratching out runs against Gray as well as a trend pick against the Reds, who have yet to lead after five innings through their first six road games. It is tricky since Cincinnati has been tied in four of those games at the midway point, but the Dodgers offense makes this pick worth a flyer.

Prediction: Dodgers -0.5 runs (-110)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Another confidence pick in Los Angeles’ offense in getaway games, with the expectation the Dodgers will make Gray work and challenge him to avoid control issues. Buehler has also yet to be lights out in any of his outings, and every run counts in this instance.

Prediction: OVER 4.5 runs (Even)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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Both pitchers have been effective in the first inning in their respective three starts — Buehler has not even allowed a baserunner, while Gray’s lone blemish was an unearned run in his season debut.

Prediction: NO to 1st-inning run (-135)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.