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What to Know - Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles dropped a pair of contests over the weekend but bounced back Monday night with a seven-inning, 8-0 shutout over the Chicago White Sox. Julio Urias looked sharp in the start, firing three innings and allowing no hits and striking out one. Shortstop Corey Seager finished 2-of-3, including a 3-run shot in the second inning, his first longball of spring training.
Jimmy Nelson will make his second start of the spring after missing the entire 2020 season due to injury. Nelson toed the rubber against the Chicago Cubs last Thursday, completing one inning of work while allowing one unearned run. The right-hander was signed to a minor-league deal with the Dodgers in the offseason.
Seager has picked up right where he left off after claiming the World Series MVP. The 26-year old has collected five hits in 13 at-bats (.385 avg) and is tied with Chris Taylor for most RBI (four).
Defensively, the Dodgers have committed just six errors through the first seven games while the pitching staff sports a 3.26 ERA as a whole.
What to Know - Cincinnati Reds
Following last Wednesday’s tie to the Dodgers, the Reds dropped three-straight over the weekend but bounced back with a 6-4 win over Colorado on Monday. The Reds got solid outings from starter Tejay Antone, who struck out three batters over three innings, and reliever Jeff Hoffman who punched out four batters over three innings of work.
Sonny Gray returns to the mound for his second spring start after firing two innings last week against Kansas City. Gray surrendered one hit and one earned run while striking out one in the no-decision. Gray is expected to serve as the Reds’ #2 starter in 2021.
Cincinnati continues to rotate the lineup and give multiple players at-bats early on this spring. Early standouts have been outfielder Scott Heineman (.500 avg, 1 HR, five runs, 3 RBI) and shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez (.462 avg, 1 HR, six hits). Neither player is expected to be on Cincinnati’s Opening Day roster.
The Reds pitching staff has struggled so far this spring with a 6.71 team earned run average. Like the offense, the Reds have showcased a ton of arms, with no pitcher logging over 5.0 innings of work so far.
Gray will have his hands full when he steps on the rubber Tuesday night against the defending champions. If Cincinnati’s pitching staff continues to struggle, this contest could get out of hands fast. Luckily, the Reds should have some success against Nelson, who continues to work his way back from an injury that sidelined him all of last season. Regardless of how long these starting pitchers last, expect both teams to put up some runs in this one.
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