Dodgers Reds Game Three Preview

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May 20, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (29) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
May 20, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (29) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers look to sweep the Reds out of LA before their first off day since Cinco De Mayo.

Yeah, the Reds aren’t a good team. The Dodgers have struggled against bad teams lately, losing three of four to the Angels and two of three to the Padres. So just be happy that isn’t happening again.

The Reds’ pitching is incredibly bad, so I won’t put too much stock into what the offense did last night. Hopefully hitting the ball well can get the offense in a groove. The more promising aspects of this series have been the starting pitching and bullpen. Obviously, Clayton Kershaw did Kershaw things. Mike Bolsinger was excellent, only getting beat by an unlucky grounder-off-the-base double and a homer by home run hitter Adam Duvall. Luis Avilan faced one batter and got him, and Joe Blanton, Pedro Baez and Adam Liberatore didn’t allow a hit in three innings. The Reds’ offense isn’t nearly as bad as their pitching, so it was good to see the bullpen be flawless yesterday.

Scott Kazmir gets the ball for the Dodgers. He had been looking better of late, but he had an awful outing against the Padres last time out, as he allowed five runs on three hits (two of which were homers) and a career-high seven walks. Scott Kazmir has started 280 games in his career, so any “career-high” is noteworthy. Kazmir has only one start against the Reds in his career, and he allowed a run in seven innings back in 2013.

Dan Straily looks to keep the Reds from getting swept, and he’s been one of the lone bright spots of the Reds’ rotation. His 4.42 FIP isn’t pretty, but he’s managed a 2.85 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts). He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his seven starts, but he’s only pitched past the sixth inning once, which is problematic with this bullpen. He hasn’t allowed a home run in his last three starts and has only allowed three earned runs in that span, so this could be a sneakily tough matchup for the Dodgers.

Yasiel Puig is notably absent from the lineup. He was benched in yesterdays game following a booming single that he thought was a home run. It wasn’t, and his trot/admiration meant a ball off the wall resulted in a single. He was taken out of the game and isn’t in the lineup today. Whether this is disciplinary or a poorly timed coincidence, it gives the Dodgers a chance to keep Trayce Thompson in the lineup (10 straight games!) and let the hot Howie Kendrick play left.

Next: Seager Playing Like a ROY

Other than that, the lineup looks fairly normal. They finally have a day off tomorrow before heading to New York and Chicago for a couple tough series’.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST and will be shown at Sportsnet LA.

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