Dodgers Vs. Reds Game Preview: Chris Taylor In Lineup For Rare Start

After going 7-6 during a span of 13 games in 13 days, the Los Angeles Dodgers had a day off for rest — and travel — ahead of beginning a road trip Friday.

It starts with another series against the Cincinnati Reds, who the Dodgers took three of four from at Dodger Stadium last week.

The Dodgers are looking for their first series victory in Cincinnati since the 2022 season. They lost two out of three road games against the Reds last season, with both of their losses coming in walk-off fashion.

Nevertheless, the Dodgers have the highest winning percentage (.690) among all teams against the Reds since 2019. That mark is also the third-highest winning percentage the Dodgers have against a single opponent during that time frame (minimum 25 games).

The series opener at Great American Ball Park marks James Paxton’s second consecutive start against the Reds. The left-hander turned in a quality start his last time out by going six innings and holding the Reds to three runs despite allowing seven hits and only collecting two strikeouts.

One key for Paxton was he didn’t issue a single walk for the second consecutive start. Free passes were a trouble spot for the veteran during April but he’s managed to improve in May by only walking two batters in 18.2 innings pitched across three starts.

Overall this season, Paxton is 5-0 with a 2.84 ERA, 5.14 FIP and 1.38 WHIP in eight starts.

The Reds counter with Graham Ashcraft, who is 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.42 WHIP this season. Ashcraft allowed three runs on three hits and had five strikeouts over five innings when he faced the Dodgers last week.

Ashcraft has allowed three earned runs or fewer in his last five starts but the Reds have lost each game.

Chris Taylor is in the Dodgers lineup for only his second start in the last 17 games. Prior to Friday, Taylor last started on May 16. Taylor has struggled all season but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted he’s seen recent improvement in the utilityman’s at-bat quality.

Dodgers lineup

SS: Mookie Betts
DH: Shohei Ohtani
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
RF: Teoscar Hernández
2B: Gavin Lux
LF: Chris Taylor
CF: Andy Pages
3B: Miguel Rojas

Reds lineup

CF: Stuart Fairchild
SS: Elly De La Cruz
1B: Jeimer Candelario
LF: Spencer Steer
C: Tyler Stephenson
3B: Santiago Espinal
DH: Nick Martini
2B: Jonathan India
RF: Jacob Hurtubise

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