MLB Picks: Small Lean Towards Dodgers & Kershaw Over Reds

Ross Benjamin

Monday, May 23, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Monday, May. 23, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Our handicapper provides a betting preview on Monday’s Dodgers and Reds matchup. Go inside to read this very insightful article which culminates with a free MLB pick.

Reds vs. Dodgers Series Opener
The Reds and Dodgers will open a three game series on Monday night in Los Angeles. The opening pitch at Dodger Stadium is slated for 10:10 PM ET. This will be the first meeting of the season between these National League clubs. The Dodgers have gone 10-4 versus Cincinnati since 2014, and five of the seven games played At Dodger Stadium went over the total. Current MLB odds at has the Dodgers as a massive -370 money line favorite and the total is 6.5. The Dodgers are also listed as an extremely high -160 run line favorite as well.


Nothing is Rosy for the Reds
Cincinnati enters Monday having lost seven in a row, in addition to going a dismal 2-12 over its last fourteen games. They’ve also gone a futile 6-24 (.200) during night games in 2016. The Reds are also a horrible 3-14 on the road so far. During its current seven-game slide, Cincinnati has a pathetic .262 team OBP. The Reds possess unequivocally the worst bullpen in baseball at this particular juncture, compiling an atrocious 6.47 ERA and 1.64 WHIP as a staff. Reds relievers have also surrendered a whopping 36 home runs during 126.0 innings pitched. Putting that statistic into perspective, Dodger relievers have allowed only 11 home runs in 136 2/3 innings of work.

Just when you thought there couldn’t be anything worse to report regarding Cincinnati, well, stop and think again. They’ll be facing Clayton Kershaw tonight, and he’s undoubtedly the hottest starting pitcher in baseball right now. Cincinnati is an anemic 1-15 this season versus starting pitchers that average 5 or more strikeouts per start, and that’s certainly not good news, considering Kershaw has fanned an average of 9.8 men per outing in nine starts. Speaking of starting pitchers, Brandon Finnegan gets the nod for Cincinnati in this series opener. Finnegan has displayed poor form over his last three starts, evidenced by a lofty 5.52 ERA and 1.64 WHIP during those outings.


Record Setting Pace for Kershaw
You just can’t get off to a better start to the season than Clayton Kershaw has put together. He’s posted a brilliant 1.67 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, and has a 22:1 strikeout to walk ratio in nine starts. Keep this in mind, the MLB record for strikeout to walk ratio in a season was 11.63:1, and that was accomplished by Phil Hughes of Minnesota during the 2014 MLB campaign. Kershaw has struck out 10 or more and walked 1 or less in six consecutive starts, and that’s currently a MLB record. His six straight starts of 10 strikeouts or more is a Dodgers franchise record. He’s also just two shy of the MLB record of eight set by Pedro Martinez in 1999 and matched by Chris Sale last year. Kershaw is 4-0 in his last four starts overall with a microscopic 0.88 ERA while striking out 48 and issuing only 1 walk.


Dodgers off a Marathon Win
It took the Dodgers seventeen innings on Sunday to come away with a 9-5 win at San Diego. A win is always good news no matter how you cut it. Now the bad news, their bullpen was called upon to pitch 12.0 innings during the marathon of game. Well, thank goodness for Clayton Kershaw. The southpaw ace has pitched 7.0 innings or more in all nine of his starts this season, including two complete game shutouts. He’ll be facing a Reds batting order that’s struggled offensively for the vast majority of 2016, and that’s been especially evident during away games.


Final Take and Advice
Let me begin by saying, I won’t be personally wagering on this game. However, if you put the proverbial gun to my head, and I was forced to make one of my Monday MLB picks on this contest, it would be on the Dodgers as a run line bet. If you choose to take this route, I’d highly advise using money management discipline. Hypothetically if you would ordinarily bet $160 to win $100 on a run line such as this, my advice is to exercise a more conservative approach, and wager $100 to win $62.50.

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Free MLB Pick: Dodgers -1.5 -160
Best Line Offered:  at Intertops

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