The Los Angeles Dodgers are 6-0 against the Cincinnati Reds this year and have a chance for a season sweep with another win on Thursday.
Both clubs are at almost opposite ends of the talent spectrum, with the Dodgers entering play with a record of 42-25, while the Reds are 23-45. The difference has so far shown in their matchups with L.A. outscoring Cincinnati, 42-13.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in his third start since returning from SI joint inflammation. In his previous two outings, Kershaw has pitched a combined nine innings while giving up three runs on eight hits.
Kershaw described his last start against the Cleveland Guardians as a grind, but said he’s still building up arm and getting closer to where he needs to be.
“This one I knew what I needed to work on and saw some improvements with that,” Kershaw said. “So with the elevated pitch count the next one and a few more times to make adjustments with my pitches, I feel like I’m getting closer to where I want to be.”
On the season, the future Hall of Famer owns a 2.08 ERA and 2.62 FIP with 40 strikeouts across 39 innings in seven starts.
The Reds counter with Hunter Greene, an electric rookie with high upside who has been mostly inconsistent this season. The 22-year-old has 85 strikeouts in just 65 innings of work, but he also holds a 5.26 ERA and 5.30 FIP in his 13 starts.
Greene gave up four runs in five innings while striking out six in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Sherman Oaks, Calf. native faced the Dodgers earlier this season at Dodger Stadium and gave up three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings while striking out six.
The right-hander relies on his fastball that averages 98.5 mph and often touches triple digits while mixing in a hard slider and changeup.
The Dodgers’ offense has scored eight runs in each of their previous two games and look to continue building on that success after a slump that caused them to lose 11 of their previous 18 games dating back to May 30.
Over the last seven days, they are batting .294/.353/.472 with a .355 wOBA and 130 wRC+ despite losing Mookie Betts with a fractured rib. Overall this season, the Dodgers are hitting .250/.330/.423 with a .329 wOBA and 114 wRC+.
The Reds are batting just .213/.270/.366 with a .280 wOBA and 73 wRC+ over the last week and .237/.307/.378 overall.
SS: Trea Turner
1B: Freddie Freeman
DH: Will Smith
2B: Max Muncy
RF: Chris Taylor
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Gavin Lux
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Austin Barnes
DH: Jonathan India
1B: Brandon Drury
LF: Tommy Pham
SS: Kyle Farmer
3B: Donovan Solano
2B: Matt Reynolds
RF: Albert Almora Jr.
CF: Nick Senzel
C: Chris Okey
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