Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Dodgers
Homer Bailey’s nice run as of late portends good things for the Cincinnati Reds, who are at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Bailey has posted a 1.55 ERA in his past four outings and is 2-0 over that stretch. As his manager Dusty Baker put it: “He’s throwing as well as anybody we have right now.”
Dodger fans wish they could say the same thing about Aaron Harang. He’s coming off a weak showing against the Nationals and will pitch on short rest against the Reds in this one. The Dodgers also have injuries to positional players like Shane Victorino and Matt Kemp that, even if they don’t keep them out of the game, will limit their effectiveness. Take the Reds at instead of the Dodgers.
Washington Nationals v Milwaulkee Brewers
With less to play for, the Washington Nationals will likely fall to the Milwaukee Brewers at home. The Nationals recently booked their spot in a post-season, which will be the city’s first in nearly eight decades. While they still have the division title to play for, they have taken their hand off the throttle to some extent as evidenced by the decision to start Chien-Ming Wang. In his prime, Wang was a great ground ball pitcher, but injuries have lessened his effectiveness (he’s 2-3 with a 6.92 ERA).
In contrast, the Brewers are still in the hunt for a wild card spot and will be poised to play their best behind starter Yovani Gallardo. Not that Gallardo necessarily needs too much help; in his past 10 appearances, he’s 8-0 with a 2.69 ERA. A motivated Brewers are the pick at 1.72 rather than a Nationals club (on at 2.12) with less to play for.