Entering this season, Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin wasn't even an option to bet on the National League Cy Young Award at Caesars Sportsbook. When the book finally listed him in mid-May, Gonsolin was a +7500 long shot. The 28-year-old has been easily the best pitcher in the NL so far, if not the majors, yet he's still +2000. Strange, but clearly oddsmakers remain skeptical. Gonsolin is on the mound Tuesday as Los Angeles opens a series in Cincinnati. The Dodgers are -165. (See tickets at StubHub)
Gonsolin debuted in the majors in 2019 with the Dodgers and had just 12 career wins entering this season. He was never truly a full-time starter but bounced back-and-forth from the bullpen depending on injuries elsewhere in the rotation. He's not going back to the pen now as Gonsolin is 8-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 12 starts.
The wins, ERA and WHIP lead are first in the majors, and the ERA is the third-best in Dodgers history through a pitcher's first 12 starts of a season behind Don Drysdale's 1.33 in 1968 and Hyun-Jin Ryu's 1.35 in 2019. Both of them had at least one loss. Neither of them won the Cy Young.
Gonsolin, a ninth-round pick in the 2016 draft, hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in any outing yet. He's 3-0 in June with a 0.49 ERA. I suppose if one wanted to quibble: Gonsolin is "only" 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA on the road this year, compared to 5-0 with a 0.81 ERA at home.
This will be his fourth career game against the Reds and he's 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA in 6.1 innings. Gonsolin hasn't been all that profitable at +$180 if you bet $100 on every game he has started, simply because Los Angeles has been such a big favorite and has ended up losing three of his starts.
Tyler Mahle (2-5, 4.46 ERA) starts for the Reds. He was rocked at Dodger Stadium on April 17, allowing seven runs over 3.2 innings of a 9-1 loss. Mahle actually has been much better on the road overall (2-2, 3.78 ERA) than at home (0-3, 5.01 ERA).
The Dodgers have won six straight overall in the series and their .607 all-time winning percentage at Great American Ball Park (37-24) is the second-best by any NL team behind the Mets (.632, 36-21). L.A. is without MVP candidate Mookie Betts, who landed on the injured list over the weekend.
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