Dodgers @ Reds June 16, 2017: Hello Great American Ball Park

(Via)

The NL West is continuing to be a three-team battle between the Rockies (43-26), D-backs (41-26) and Dodgers (41-26), with a game separating first and second place. The Dodgers look to start up another winning streak when they begin a three-game series in Cincinnati on Friday. After dropping the series finale to the Indians on Thursday, they look to gain momentum at the Great American Ball Park with an eager offense led by rookie sensation Cody Bellinger.

Dodgers
Reds
4:10 PM PST
Cincinnati
2B
Utley
CF
 Hamilton
SS
Seager
SS
Cozart
3B
Turner
1B
Votto
1B
Bellinger
LF
Duvall
LF
Taylor
3B
Suarez
C
Grandal
RF
Schebler
CF
Pederson 2B  Peraza
RF
Puig
C
Mesoraco
P
Wood (L)
P
Adleman (R)

Alex Wood (6-0, 2.01 ERA, 1.88 FIP) goes for his seventh straight win of the season when he faces the Reds, who were previously swept by the Dodgers in the three-game series at Dodger Stadium last weekend. It can be argued that Wood has been the Dodgers’ best starting pitcher outside of Clayton Kershaw this year. Wood continued to pitch with confidence last Saturday against the Reds after returning from the 10-day DL with a sore shoulder. Even though he left with a no decision after 5 2/3 innings, he only allowed three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts with no walks. It was a great sign to see Wood still look sharp.

The Dodgers bested Tim Adleman (4-2, 4.34 ERA, 5.01 FIP) in his last start, a matchup a week ago between the two clubs in L.A. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits including home runs from Bellinger and Chase Utley in the 9-7 Dodger victory. At home, Adleman is 3-0 with a much better strikeout to walk ratio (9.4 K/9) than on the road (5.7 K/9) this year, although he has given up six home runs in six games (five starts) at the Great American Ball Park.

Adleman and the rest of the Cincinnati pitching staff will have to try to keep the red hot Dodgers in the park if possible. The Dodgers had their six-game winning streak snapped on Thursday in Cleveland after another rough Rich Hill outing, but overall they’ve been swinging a very collectively hot bat of late. They may not have the most home runs in the majors (79 and counting), but they do lead baseball in doubles (132), have collected three less walks than the Cubs (257), and they have the third-best OBP in the N.L. (.333) through their first 67 games.

Watching Bellinger hit in the Great American Ball Park should be a treat. Perhaps it will be a preview of the Home Run Derby, which he is rightfully being considered for. He’s hitting .350 with seven hits (six home runs and a double) in his last five games. 13 of his 18 home runs have come against right-handed pitching, half of those 18 home runs being slugged on the road. Belli hit three home runs against the Reds at Dodger Stadium last week, so make your guesses on how many he’s going to hit out in this series at such a hitters’ friendly park.

The Dodgers are .500 exactly on the road this year (16-16) going into their final leg of this road trip. The Rockies have won seven of their last 10 games and are 25-13 on the road. The Dodgers (25-10) and the D-backs (26-9) have both been excellent at home. There’s still time for the D-backs and Rockies to regress from their solid starts to the season, but the All-Star break isn’t too far off now. The Dodgers have some competition in their division at the moment, and it may just be a three-man race down the stretch.

——

Josh Ravin was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday to give the Dodgers a fresh arm out of the bullpen. This will be Ravin’s second stint with the Dodgers this season, but he has yet to pitch in a game. Ross Stripling was optioned to OKC after Thursday’s loss to the Indians. He threw 53 pitches in 1 2/3 innings.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the Co-Editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.