Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw Return to L. A. in Dramatic Reds-Dodgers Series

Monday, April 15, 2019 10:03 AM UTC

Monday, Apr. 15, 2019 10:03 AM UTC

Yasiel Puig, traded to Cincinnati in the offseason, makes his first return to Los Angeles, while Dodgers Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw makes his first start of the year. The Reds have stronger starting pitching, a fired-up Puig who is ready for revenge, and are the hotter team.    

<p style="text-align:right"><em>Shawn’s ATS Season Record: 60-33</em></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Cincinnati Reds (5-8, 7-6 ATS) at Los Angeles Dodgers (8-8, 6-10 ATS)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Monday, 10:10 (ESPN/SportsNet LA/FS O)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Free MLB Pick: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/mlb-baseball/cincinnati-reds-vs-los-angeles-dodgers-3730265/odds/" target="_blank">Reds ML</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Recommended Sporstbook: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4492&amp;book=BetOnline" target="_blank">BetOnline</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3730265, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,238,169,999991], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>For dramatic storylines, the early-week series between <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/mlb/mlb-total-picks-april-15-reds-vs-dodgers-indians-vs-mariners/89728/" target="_blank">Cincinnati and Los Angeles rivals</a> the<em> Game of Thrones</em> premiere.</p><p>The plotline that will likely attract the most attention is <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/players-talk/3513832-puig-traded-p2.html" target="_blank">Yasiel Puig</a>’s return to L.A. The outfielder was traded to the Reds in a blockbuster offseason deal, ending a tumultuous six-year run with the team that signed him out of Cuba.</p><p>Puig was an exciting player, but his inconsistent play on the field and temperamental mood off of it rubbed many in the organization the wrong way.</p><p>"There were always things like that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told the <em>L. A. Times</em> in spring training. “Taking plays off.”</p><p>“He was just going to show up and do whatever he wants,” former teammate Justin Turner added.</p><p>The bad blood isn’t just on the Dodgers’ side. Puig announced that he was “prepared to beat my old teammates.”</p><p>Puig has followed his old pattern in his new home of Cincinnati. He won fans over early in the season by attempting to fight the entire Pirates team in defense of a teammate who was hit by a pitch.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Deadspin/status/1114977031148703744">[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Yasiel Puig tried to fight all of Pittsburgh after Pirates pitcher Chris Archer threw behind Derek Dietrich: &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/mRV34KT6HR\"&gt;https://t.co/mRV34KT6HR&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/CBpxoZ6qBL\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/CBpxoZ6qBL&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Deadspin (@Deadspin) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/Deadspin/status/1114977031148703744?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;April 7, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</a></p><p>On the field, however, he’s struggled, hitting just .132 this year with .359 OPS and 12 strikeouts in 38 at bats.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Another return</strong></h2><p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/mlb-baseball/cincinnati-reds-vs-los-angeles-dodgers-3730265/matchup/" target="_blank">The series opener on Monday</a> features the return of another big name, this one still wearing Dodger blue.</p><p>Clayton Kershaw will make his first start of the season, after missing the start of the season with shoulder inflammation. He had a solid minor league rehab start last week, reaching 92 mph on the radar gun. Sunday would have been his day in the rotation, following that Tuesday game in Double-A Tulsa, but the Dodgers gave him an extra day to recover.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/MiLB/status/1115779421271666688">[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Meanwhile in Tulsa... Clayton Kershaw doing Clayton Kershaw things. ⬇️ &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/aEkjTQUBjP\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/aEkjTQUBjP&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/MiLB/status/1115779421271666688?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;April 10, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</a></p><p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/players-talk/3537393-who-more-pathetic-week-cubs-red-sox-dodgers-yankees.html" target="_blank">The Dodgers</a> follow with Kenta Maeda on Tuesday, who got lit up by St. Louis in his last start, giving up a pair of home runs and five runs in 5.1 innings. His ERA is nearly a full run higher than last season (4.76, up from 3.81), and he’s giving up twice as many home runs (2.1 per nine innings up from 0.9 in 2018) and striking out fewer (7.9 per nine innings, down from 11.0).</p><p>The Reds counter with two pitchers who have ERAs below 1.00 to start the series—Luis Castillo (0.92) and Tyler Mahle (0.82). Sonny Gray (2.03) will pitch Wednesday’s finale, while the Dodgers have yet to announce a starter.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Back on American soil</strong></h2><p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/players-talk/3537393-who-more-pathetic-week-cubs-red-sox-dodgers-yankees.html" target="_blank">The Reds</a> continue what will be a tough nine-game road trip that takes them on the West Coast—with series in L.A and San Diego—and started with a split of two games with the Cardinals in Mexico. The Reds went 6-1 against the Dodgers last year. They also had a four-game win streak snapped in the second game with St. Louis in Monterrey. The Dodgers, meanwhile, won Sunday to snap a six-game losing streak.</p><p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/mlb-baseball/cincinnati-reds-vs-los-angeles-dodgers-3730265/matchup/" target="_blank">Look for the Reds pitching to keep the Dodgers in check</a>, while a fired-up Puig gets a measure of redemption in his old home. <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/mlb-baseball/cincinnati-reds-vs-los-angeles-dodgers-3730265/odds/" target="_blank">Pick the Reds in money line</a> wins in all three games.</p><p> </p><p> </p>
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