The Dodgers (40-25) are coming off a series loss at home against the Cleveland Guardians (34-28), and will look to bounce back against the struggling Cincinnati Reds (23-43). The Reds sit in last place in a weak NL Central division, and own the third worst record in baseball. That’s a far cry from the 2021 team, which went 83-79, and would’ve made the playoffs last year if the 2022 playoff format were present. The Dodgers will look to their ace, Tony Gonsolin to start this nine game road stint off with a win, up against the right-handed Tyler Mahle for the Reds.
|3B||Muncy (L)||1B||Votto (L)|
|CF||Bellinger (L)||DH||Moustakas (L)|
|RF||Alvarez (L)||RF||Almora Jr.|
|P||Gonsolin (R)||P||Mahle (R)|
With Mookie Betts officially on the Injured List with a cracked rib, the offense all of a sudden looks a little sad. Normally I don’t care about batting order or lineups, but personally I think there should be some changes made. This is all opinionated, but Max Muncy (83 wRC+, .597 OPS) cannot be batting cleanup right now, while Gavin Lux (117 wRC+, .749 OPS) owns the second highest OBP on the team and is batting ninth. The top three are as they should be in the absence of Betts, but you can’t have one of your best hitters batting ninth, and one of your worst batting fourth. In June, Lux is first on the team in nearly all offensive categories, with a .347/.407/.531 slash, all of which lead the team, and is naturally first in wRC+ at 165. Can’t be batting ninth.
Anyways, here’s how the two offenses compare against each other. Trayce Thompson is now on the active roster after being acquired from the Tigers yesterday. He had a 1.244 OPS in 16 games in AAA with the Padres this season, and a .992 OPS in 25 games with the Tigers in AAA. His OPS vs. LHP in AAA this year is 1.256. Pretty sure you can see the role the Dodgers have envisioned for him. Two of the Reds’ best hitters are both likely to be traded by the deadline, with Brandon Drury (130 wRC+, 14 HR, 1.7 fWAR) having a great season, and Tommy Pham the notorious slapper, with a 118 wRC+ and 1.5 fWAR. Old friend Kyle Farmer (111 wRC+) is having a good year, while 2021 NL Rookie of the Year, Jonathan India is playing just his 17th game this year after battling injuries.
Here’s how Gonsolin and Mahle matchup amongst 85 pitchers with at least 60 innings.
In his last time out, Mahle had a fantastic outing, going nine shutout innings, allowing just three hits and no walks with 12 strikeouts. The Reds’ poor offense couldn’t provide any run support for him, but his performance couldn’t have been much better. That is his second consecutive double digit strikeout game, and now has six “quality starts” in his last seven outings. He’s had a few stinker outings that have drastically inflated his ERA this season, but all things considered he’s a very good pitcher. In his last four starts, he has a 1.30 ERA, 2.33 FIP, and a 0.83 WHIP, with 36 strikeouts and 7 walks in 27.2 innings. If the Reds do decide to move him, he should be able to net a lot of value for them. He’d be an excellent pickup for the Dodgers if they deemed they would want another starter before the deadline.
Gonsolin has obviously been one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he continued his incredible season last time out, allowing just one hit and two walks over 6.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts. That was his eighth win of the season, and moved his record to 8-0 on the year. He won’t pitch to a 1.42 ERA forever, but he’s been amazing thus far, and has allowed just three total runs in 33 innings at home. He’s only allowed ten earned runs total on the season, giving him a 2.10 ERA on the road which is still nothing to scoff at. He’s now had six consecutive outings in which he’s gone at least six innings, and he’ll look to continue his run of form against a below average offense in Cincinnati.
The Dodgers’ bullpen could definitely use the boost, and if Dellin Betances can gain some semblance of his old self, that would be a massive help.
These were the necessary moves to get Thompson onto the active roster. Caleb Ferguson sounds optimistic about his injury and that it shouldn’t be anything to worry about, just rest.
First pitch is at 3:40 PM PDT on SNLA.