The Los Angeles Dodgers travel out to Cincinnati to face the Reds in a crucial three-game series. The Dodgers are 1.5 games back of first place in the NL West, yet they are in the lead of the NL Wild Card race. As for the Reds, they are 75-71 and 1.5 games back from St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot. This series should be interesting as both teams look to cover ground in the playoff picture, so it’s time to make a Dodgers-Reds prediction and pick for Friday’s game in Cincinnati.

Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for Friday’s matchup.

MLB odds: Dodgers-Reds odds

Dodgers ML -162

Reds ML +149

Over 8.5 (-106)

Under 8.5 (-114)

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Why The Dodgers Could Win

The Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball. They have a complete lineup from top to bottom and a pitching staff that can go deep into games. They are currently riding a six-game winning streak, averaging 5.3 runs over this span. Justin Turner leads the club in batting average (.280) and total hits (135). Max Muncy has been on fire as of late and has a team-high 34 home runs and 86 RBI on the season. As a unit, the Dodgers rank fifth in OBP (.329) and 12th in batting average (.242).

The Los Angeles pitching staff ranks first in ERA (2.94), quality starts (70) and WHIP (1.09). Walker Buehler is expected to make the start on Friday for the Dodgers. Buehler boasts a 14-3 record with a 2.32 ERA, making him a top Cy Young candidate. Buehler pitched seven innings in his last start while fanning five to get the 5-4 win against the San Diego Padres. As an away favorite, the Dodgers have a 60% win percentage and are 11-7 in games with one day of rest. Los Angeles is 8-2 in its last 10 games, outscoring opponents by 29 runs.

Why The Reds Could Win

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The Reds have one of the most powerful lineups in the National League. However, they seem to have cooled off over the last month. They are 5-9 through September and 1-5 over their last six games. Cincinnati is coming off a 1-0 victory in Pittsburgh, where Tyler Mahle got the win to improve to 12-5 on the year after tossing six shutout innings and five strikeouts. The Reds are 38-33 at home and slugging .427 while averaging 4.84 runs per game as a team. Their offense is led by Nick Castellanos, who has a batting average of .310 and a total of 149 hits. Joey Votto leads the club with 30 home runs and 88 RBI as well.

They send out ace Luis Castillo to face this lethal Dodgers lineup. Castillo is 7-15 with a 4.24 ERA and 171 strikeouts this season. He makes his fourth career start against the Dodgers, coming in with a record of 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 17 1/3 innings of work in those outings.

Final Dodgers-Reds Prediction and Pick

While the Reds are still in the mix of the Wild Card race, their recent struggles against mediocre teams is not going to instill confidence in their chances against one of the elite teams in the National League. Although Castillo has pitched better at home than he has on the road by a wide margin, the Great American Ball Park dimensions work in favor of power hitters. The Dodgers have won six straight games and are right behind the San Francisco Giants for the lead in the NL West. Expect Buehler to continue his dominance on the mound and get the win in Cincinnati.

Final Pick – Dodgers Moneyline (-162)