Will the new stars light up the Hollywood night vs. the Reds?
It's not the same Dodgers ballclub Cincinnati saw last year. Even though former All-Stars Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen have departed, don't shed any tears for Los Angeles. The Dodgers front office replaced them with former MVP Freddie Freeman and eight-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.
On most days, LA manager Dave Roberts can pencil in seven former All-Stars into his lineup card. Additionally, don't be surprised if catcher Will Smith, not that one, is soon participating in the midsummer classic. Last year, Smith slashed .258/.365/.495 with 25 round-trippers and 76 RBIs.
That leaves only former first-round selection, Gavin Lux, on the outside looking in. A 24-year-old second baseman, Lux is slashing .353./.400/.588 to start the 2022 season and he's considered the "easy" out.
Cincinnati's most high-profile newcomer, Tommy Pham, is not enjoying the same type of success to open the 2022 campaign. Hitless in his first 15 at-bats, the 34-year-old outfielder left the Reds' home opener with a wrist injury following a collision with centerfielder Nick Senzel. Despite missing yesterday's contest, look for Pham to return to the Cincinnati Reds' lineup in LA.
Prediction: Dodgers take 3-of-4 from the Reds in LA.
Reds Country if you want to know how the other half lives consider this. Baseball-Reference gives the Dodgers a 99.9% chance to make the postseason. It's April. Unsurprisingly, expectations are much different for the two fanbases.
Chances are the Cincinnati Reds won't face a better club all year and expect to see that excellence on full display this weekend as the Dodgers take three of four from the Redlegs before Cincinnati travels south to open a series in San Diego with the Padres on Monday night.