MLB Picks: Reds vs. Kershaw & Dodgers

Joe Freda

Friday, July 26, 2013 1:58 PM GMT

The Cincinnati Reds ended a six-game winning streak for the Los Angeles Dodgers with Thursday’s 5-2 victory as 102 road dogs.

Friday’s MLB betting has Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.01 ERA) facing Reds righty Homer Bailey (5-9, 3.84 ERA).

Reds, Bruce hold off Dodgers

Reds outfielder Jay Bruce cracked a two-run homer in Thursday’s win, giving his club a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning. Cincinnati’s Joey Votto and Todd Frazier both hit 2-for-4, including Frazier’s 21st double of the year.

Los Angeles was edged out in hits, 10-9, with mates Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis both held to 0-for-4 nights. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez drove in both of his side’s runs, while Carl Crawford left three men on base from the leadoff spot.

Cincinnati’s Aroldis Chapman logged his 24th save of the year, tossing two strikeouts in the final frame. The contest’s combined seven runs ‘pushed’ the closing ‘total,’ while Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo recorded the battle’s sole error.

Kershaw fans nine in Washington

Kershaw notched his fourth win in five starts with Sunday’s 9-2 win for Los Angeles as a 113 road favorite over the Washington Nationals. The three-time All-Star tossed nine strikeouts over seven frames, while giving up two solo shot homers to Washington’s Jayson Werth.

Los Angeles’ Matt Kemp drilled a homer and double in the second inning, driving in two of his club’s seven runs from that frame. Dodgers slugger Hanley Ramirez cracked a three-run long ball, finishing with a 2-for-4 day.

Bailey outdueled at home

Bailey saw action on the same afternoon, falling as 133 home ‘chalk’ in Cincinnati’s 3-2 defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 27-year-old allowed all three of Pittsburgh’s runs on seven hits, while hurling 12 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Cincinnati’s Chris Heisey and Brandon Phillips were held to a combined 0-for-7 outing, with each striking out twice. The tight affair’s combined five runs dipped below the betting odds ‘total’ of eight, moving the UNDER to 5-0-2 in Bailey’s last seven starts.

Back the OVER in L.A.

Bet365 opened Kershaw as a 164 home favorite, with early money on the southpaw lifting the MLB odds to minus 181. The ‘total’ was first set at a flat 6 ½, with the OVER moving to a 115 premium.

I am adding the OVER in this matchup to Friday’s sports picks, feeling the ‘total’ has been listed too low.

Kershaw has tight numbers at home, but faces a few bats from Cincinnati’s lineup who can drive in their share of runs. Reds slugger Joey Votto has two homers in 17 career at-bat’s against Kershaw’s arm, while coming in hot with a 6-for-12 mark in his last three games.

Bailey has allowed a sizable 1.36 WHIP and .328 OBP over his 10 road starts, while giving up four earned runs in each of his last three starts away from home (17 2/3 IP). Los Angeles’ Adrian Gonzalez has hit 8-for-15 against Bailey, including five homers, while mate Juan Uribe has one long ball in a 3-for-7 career stretch.

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The OVER has cashed at 6-2-2 in Cincinnati’s last 10 games, while going 4-0-1 in Los Angeles’ last five matchups against righty starters. Umpire Alfonso Marquez has seen the OVER collect at a 3-1 clip in his last four called games held in National League parks.

Look for these OVER trends to surface again here, with both lineups having their share of chances.

MLB Pick: OVER 6 ½ at Bet365