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Dodgers Vs. Reds Game Preview: Joe Blanton Starts Opener In Cincinnati

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to fight for a spot in the playoffs, and that fight extends into Great American Ball Park for a three-game series starting Friday against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds clinched a playoff berth Thursday. Their magic number to clinch their second National League Central title in three years is at two entering play Friday. The St. Louis Cardinals play Friday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs, so the Reds will take the field Friday knowing whether a win over the Dodgers would clinch the division championship.

Joe Blanton, who played his college baseball about 80 miles south of Cincinnati at the University of Kentucky, will start Friday for the Dodgers. Los Angeles enters play Friday three games behind the Cardinals for the National League's second wild card playoff spot.

Since Blanton joined the Dodgers in an August trade from the Philadelphia Phillies, he has a 6.07 ERA in in 46 innings pitched.

Bronson Arroyo will start for the Reds. Arroyo has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his last 11 starts, and he has an ERA of 3.28 over that span.

First pitch at Great American Ball Park on Friday is at 4:10 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on MLB Network and PRIME.

Keep up with the latest on the Dodgers at True Blue L.A., and keep up with Reds' news and opinions at Red Reporter. All of the latest on Major League Baseball can be found at Baseball Nation.