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August 1, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of Game 5 of the National League baseball championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Los Angeles.

The bad-beat bug is biting me in the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point and features a $10,00 starting bankroll.

Two of my last three defeats were of the excruciating variety. Gambling Gods, please bless me with good luck as I venture back out to the baseball diamond.

Cincinnati Reds minus-115 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: $345 to win $300

Through 10 weeks, the Dodgers are one of the worst bets in the league. If a hypothetical gambler had bet $100 on every one of their games this season, that gambler would be down more than $900.

That’s the second worst return for any team in the National League. Down nearly $300 on the year using the same criteria, the Reds are no gold mine themselves.

But Cincinnati isn’t perpetually overvalued like the team that everyone had pegged as World Series favorites in the preseason. Tonight’s series opener at Great American Ballpark exemplifies the issue.

The Reds trot out a pitcher on the rise at home to start against one on the decline coming from two time zones over, and yet the game is virtually a pick’em.

Los Angeles starter Dan Haren, 33, surprised many with a strong beginning to the season, but he’s shown signs of wear and struggled in recent outings. Cincinnati’s ace prospect Tony Cingrani, 24-year-old, hasn’t been great since coming off of the disabled list either but he seemed to improve in his last start and said he felt back to normal for the first time.

Dating back to last year, Cingrani had been quietly sensational before the minor shoulder injury. He’s not stuck with a difficult assignment in outdueling Haren.

Standings: Bern (30-21-1, $11,829), Keefer (24-30, $8,068), Brewer (18-27-3, $4,450)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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