Los Angeles right-hander Zack Greinke has turned in a historic 22 consecutive starts with two or less earned runs allowed, surpassing Roger Clemens’ record-breaking run in 1990-1991. Greinke is 7-1 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.11 WHIP this season, including going 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA and 1.00 WHIP at home, 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA and 1.12 WHIP at night and 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over his last three starts. The Dodgers’ starting rotation is ranked fourth in baseball with a 3.15 ERA, and manager Don Mattingly is very pleased with the makeup of his team. “It gives us confidence as a ballclub that what we’ve been built for is to pitch,” Mattingly said. “It tells me we can get on a roll.”
Since joining Los Angeles prior to last season, Greinke is 11-2 with a 2.18 ERA in eighteen starts at Chavez Ravine. Moreover, Greinke is 4-1 with a career 2.95 ERA and 0.94 WHIP versus the Reds (65 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched). Let’s also note that Greinke is supported by a solid Los Angeles bullpen that owns 3.31 ERA and 1.22 WHIP at home and a 1.62 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over the last seven games. One final comment with respect to Greinke – his 2.77 xFIP and 2.76 SIERA both indicate that his results are fully supported by an elite skill set rarely matched in the Majors.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati starter Alfredo Simon is one of the biggest surprises in baseball as he is 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, including a perfect 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA and 0.93 WHIP on the road. “He’s not just a special talent, but really a special arm,” manager Bryan Price said of Simon. While his periphery statistics are impressive, Simon is nothing more than a mirage as evidenced by 4.17 xFIP and 4.18 SIERA. Significant regression is on the horizon for Simon, and I believe it begins tonight against a surging Los Angeles team that has won five of its last seven games and are 6-2 at home in this series.
Simon is also hindered by a bad Cincinnati bullpen that owns a pedestrian 4.78 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 2014, including a 5.14 ERA and 1.59 WHIP on the road and a 4.62 ERA and 1.59 WHIP at night. The other issue facing Simon is a lack of run support as the Reds are ranked thirteenth in the National League in runs scored and remain without their leading hitter in Joey Votto. Cincinnati is batting ,241 with a .303 on base percentage this season (3.5 runs per game), including hitting .234 with a .295 on base percentage on the road (3.3 runs per game) and .240 with a .288 on base percentage over the last ten days (3.0 runs per game).
From a technical standpoint, Greinke is 20-3 (+16.4 units) at home versus teams batting .250 or worse, 42-15 (+20.8 units) versus teams whose batters strike out seven or more time per game, 19-2 (+16.3 units) at home versus teams with an on base percentage of .315 or less and 46-13 (+27.8 units) at home against teams who average less than three extra base hits per game. Greinke is also an incredible 23-4 (+15.7 units) as a favorite of -150 or less, 25-6 (+15.2 units) as a home favorite, 44-16 (+26.3 units) at home following a win, 23-5 (+15.4 units) at home with a total of 7.5 runs or less and 42-10 (+24.2 units) as a moderately-priced home favorite. Here are additional trends favoring the Dodgers tonight:
- Dodgers are 27-13 L/40 home games vs. right-handed starters;
- Dodgers are 60-29 L/89 games as a favorite of -151 to -200;
- Dodgers are 41-20 L/61 vs. teams with a losing record;
- Dodgers are 16-3 L/19 home games with Greinke on the mound;
- Dodgers are 9-1 L/10 as home favorites of -150 to -200 with Greinke pitching;
- Reds are 3-9 L/12 road games;
- Reds are 27-57 L/84 games as underdogs of +151 to +200;
- Reds are 1-8 L/9 in game 2 of a series
Take Los Angeles and invest with confidence.