Dodgers Vs. Reds Game Preview: Looking To Avoid Sweep & 5th Straight Loss

The Los Angeles Dodgers have fallen on a bit of a slump as the second month of the 2024 MLB season nears an end. They have lost four consecutive games, and head into an early battle on Sunday hoping to avoid a sweep at the hands of the below .500 Cincinnati Reds.

The pitching let the Dodgers down in the first game of the series. James Paxton gave up five runs and Yohan Ramirez gave up another three en route to a 9-6 loss.

On Saturday night, it was the bats that went silent. The Dodgers managed five hits all night and scored one run, on a Jason Heyward RBI grounder into a double play.

It’s a rare sight for the Dodgers to lose four consecutive games, especially when pitching has been a major issue. The Dodgers are giving up 6.25 runs per game over the last four, despite having one of the best team ERAs in all of baseball.

Hoping to stop that trend and get the pitching back on track is Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The rookie pitcher from Japan has quietly been dominant since his first start against the San Diego Padres in the Seoul Series. Over his last nine starts — 53 innings — Yamamoto has a 2.38 ERA, a 0.981 WHIP and 59 punch-outs compared to 10 walks. He also has a 5-0 record in games with decisions.

Yamamoto is the perfect player to help right the ship for the Dodgers, as he has given up more than three runs only one time since the Seoul Series and has pitched at least five scoreless innings four times.

The Reds, meanwhile, are putting together a bullpen game in the series finale on Sunday, led by Brent Suter. Cincinnati has a perfectly league average bullpen in 2024. They rank 16th in ERA (3.94), 10th in WHIP (1.25), 12th in strikeouts (190), 16th in walks (73) and ninth in opponent batting average (.228).

It’s unclear if they will rely on any one pitcher to take a bulk of the innings, or if they’ll go for a true bullpen game. But the numbers show that they can be gotten to. And while Dodgers batting has been quiet this week — as injuries affect the depth of their lineup — they still have the talent to make things happen on any given day.

Sunday is a 9:10 a.m. PT first pitch, which was moved up from it’s previously scheduled time.

Dodgers Lineup

SS: Mookie Betts
DH: Shohei Ohtani
1B: Freddie Freeman
LF: Teoscar Hernández
CF: Andy Pages
2B: Gavin Lux
RF: Jason Heyward
3B: Kiké Hernandez
C: Austin Barnes

Reds Lineup

LF: Jacob Hurtubise
SS: Elly De La Cruz
1B: Spencer Steer
RF: Jake Fraley
2B: Jonathan India
DH: Nick Martini
3B: Santiago Espinal
C: Luka Maile
CF: Will Benson

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