The Cincinnati Reds (50-62) begin a four game series in LA at 10:10 PM tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers (64-50). Tonight the Reds will face Mat Latos for the first time since he was traded away this past off-season.

The Reds come in having lost 6 of their last 8 games. The Dodgers haven’t fared much better recently, as they have lost 4 of their last 6 games. The Dodgers lead the NL West by 3.5 games over the San Francisco Giants. However, if the Dodgers were in the NL Central, they would be in 4th place, and 9.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals (73-40).

The Dodgers have been lead by the incredible 1-2 pitching duo of Clayton Kershaw (2.51 ERA, 2.23 FIP) and Zack Greinke (1.65 ERA, 2.59 FIP). Both pitchers rank in the top six in the MLB in fWAR, and are top contenders to win the NL Cy Young. The Reds will avoid Kershaw in the four game series, but will likely face Zack Grienke on Sunday (has not been officially announced yet).

The Dodgers pitching overall ranks 7th in the MLB in ERA (3.53), and 4th in FIP (3.37). The Dodgers bullpen however ranks 24th in ERA (4.12).

Starting Pitchers

LatosSampson

The Reds will finally get a chance to face off against Mat Latos. He is the man who called the Reds clubhouse a “circus” among other things including questioning the Reds medical staff in a ridiculous interview to Ken Rosenthal. The Reds players, including Homer Bailey, Devin Mesoraco, and Skip Schumaker fired back at Latos, and manager Bryan Price called Latos’ accusations “tabloid BS.” It goes without saying, it should be fun to see the Reds face off against Latos.

Mat Latos began his season with the Marlins, where he was traded this off-season for Anthony DeSclafani. That trade has been an absolute steal for the Reds, as they have six years of control on DeSclafani (who has outproduced Latos in 2015). In Latos first start with the Marlins, he didn’t make it out of the first inning, and allowed 7 ER. Through his first 9 starts with the Marlins, Latos had a 6.12 ERA. Latos then went on the DL with left knee inflammation (something which certainly had to be the fault of the Marlins medical staff).

When Latos retured from the DL, he pitched much better. He had a 3.86 ERA in June, and a 1.80 ERA in July. Latos however only made three starts in July, as he had to be skipped a couple times because of a foot injury. Latos was traded to the Dodgers at the trade deadline, as part of 13-player deal between the Dodges, Marlins, and Braves.

Latos pitched very well in his first start with the Dodgers, only allowing 1 run and 4 hits in 6.0 innings, despite only striking out 1 batter. In his second and most recent start with the Dodgers, he got rocked by the Pirates for 6 ER in 4.0 IP, including allowing a 3-run homer to Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano.

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Keyvius Sampson has pitched very well through his first two starts with the Reds. In his last start against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, Sampson allowed just 1 run on 4 hits in 6.0 IP. He will certainly have a chance to try to earn a spot in the 2016 rotation. Sampson looks like a great off-season waiver pickup.

Lineups

Reds: Phillips 4, Suarez 6, Votto 3, Frazier 5, Bruce 9, Byrd 7, Barnhart 2, Sampson RHP, Hamilton 8

Dodgers: Rollins 6, Hernandez 4, Gonzalez 3, Either 7, Puig 9, Callaspo 5, Peterson 8, Ellis 2, Latos RHP

RedsDodgers

The Dodgers offense is lead again by Adrian Gonzalez (.292/.367/518, 22 HR, 145 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR), who I like to call a poor man’s Joey Votto (although the Dodgers are far from poor).  The main difference between the Reds and Dodgers offenses’ is that the Dodgers offense is above average at 7 of 8 positions, whereas the Reds are above average in 4 of 8 positions. I added the wRC+ to the Dodgers official depth chart below (FYI, 100 is MLB average). Whoa.

Dodgers offense

Other news and notes

Grant Freking wrote an interesting article today about the Reds chances of the Reds being contenders in 2017.

The Cubs won their 7th straight game this afternoon. Kyle Schwarber hit two bombs in the Cubs 9-2 win over the Brewers.

Concluding Thoughts

Get ready for some more late night baseball as the Reds take on the mighty Dodgers. If you are an out-of-market Reds fan like myself, you will get to fall asleep the next three days to the sweet voice of Vin Scully. As for tonight, it would also be pretty awesome to see the Reds absolutely rock Mat Latos.

28 Responses

  1. sezwhom

    I did hear something interesting today. Reds wanted SF Giants prospects P Tyler Beede and C Andrew Susac for Chapman. G-men said: no thanks.

  2. Nick Doran

    I absolutely love listening to Vin Scully doing the Reds/Dodgers games on MLB.tv. He is sooooo much more interesting and enjoyable to listen to than Thom and Marty.

  3. CP

    Winker has really started turning on the opposite field power lately. Him and Votto are going to be fun to watch together.

  4. jessecuster44

    Lamb will be wearing #47. Too soon. Many other numbers available. It’s a small thing, but this is yet another example of how bad this organization is.

  5. Indy Red Man

    Sweet glove work by Mr. Suarez there! This Sampson is kid is pretty good. They had him all the way up to 95-96 in the 1st inning! It will interesting to see this Lamb kid tomorrow too. Man they have alot of good young arms:)

    • Carl Sayre

      I have been critical of Saurezs glove and not one play does a good SS make but that was sweet. I am not sure even with his stick he is the answer at SS. I have been spoiled by Cozarts defense. I will say this if SS is the only way to get that stick in the line up I will live with it.

  6. Tom Reed

    A real zippidy do da double play by Suarez. I don’t ever recall thinking the Reds had a lot of good young pitching. They do now and we’ll see how it turns out. Usually, over the years, the Reds forte has been offense.

    • Tom Gray

      Agree. Reds are more known for offense than pitching.

      But I daresay the Reds’ best years in my 64 year lifetime have coincided with good P staffs.

      1961 – Jay, O’Toole, Purkey as SP. Brosnan, Henry, Maloney as RP.
      1970 – Nolan, Merritt, Simpson as SP. Granger, Carroll, Gullett as RP.
      1975 & 76 – Nolan, Gullett, Billingham, Norman as SP. Eastwick, McEnaney, Borbon as RP.

      1990 – Rijo, Browning, and The Nasty Boys.

  7. CP

    This team doesn’t look like a team that has quit on the manager.

    • Carl Sayre

      They are playing tonight but over the last month it looked exactly like they had quit on him. I love seeing the game played well especially when it is the Reds playing well.

  8. mtkal

    This does look like a team with a pretty good young shortstop.

    • Tom Gray

      Suarez was an excellent trade pick-up by Reds GM. Simon was good P but Reds “sold high” on him. If the young P Crawford recovers from injury, he has good potential, too.

      • mtkal

        Yeah, both the Simon and Latos trades are looking better and better. (Especially in tonight’s game regarding the Latos trade). It’s way early on the Cueto and Leake trades, but they seem promising as well. As much as it may seem a shame to have to bust up that rotation, it was imperative that they got good value back. So far so good IMO.

  9. Carl Sayre

    I hate seeing ML sent down but he has been BAD lately. I hope Lamb performs well and ML can correct what has been wrong lately. I just thought it was fatigue but they are going to use him as a starter at Louisville so it must not be fatigue.

  10. vegastypo

    Who are you, and what have you done to Billy Hamilton tonight? (Actually, I’d rather he not get encouraged to hit homers, but what the heck?)

  11. Nick Carrington

    I know Billy has two hits from the left side tonight, but his swing just looks so much better from the right side. If you didn’t know it was his natural side, it would only take a few at bats to figure it out.

    • mtkal

      Agree. I wish they would just have him bat right and leave him alone. I don’t think the shorter distance from first will ever make enough difference to make it worth the lower OBP from the left side.

      • Tom Gray

        Career night (maybe) for BH.

        4 hits (including HR), 4 runs scored, 2 RBI, and 1 SB.

  12. RedAlert

    I don’t care where they play Suarez next year – but his bat better be in this lineup on a regular basis ! The kid can rake!

      • mtkal

        Cozart will need to prove he hasn’t lost a step in the field and that he can keep hitting like he was this season. It’ll be a good problem to have to figure out.

      • Tom Gray

        Best hitter maybe. BP numbers are not far behind his.

        Best fielder, no. Overall I’d put BP # 1 and Suarez 2A / Cozart 2B.