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Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals

Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56) at Washington Nationals (93-69)

MLB: Sunday, October 6th, 2019 at 7:45 pm ET (Nationals Park)

Line and Odds: Washington Nationals -114/Los Angeles Dodgers +102 Over/Under: 8

Free ESPN MLB Picks Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles

After losing Game 2 of their National League Divisional Series to the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers find themselves with a 1-1 split in this 5 game series. Their Game 2 loss makes their prospects of winning a little bit harder. Their 4-2 defeat on Friday makes it imperative that the Dodgers find a way to win in Washington (either game 3 or game 4, but preferably both).

Los Angeles had their legendary pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, on the mound in Game 2. He pitched well, but not quite well enough. Kershaw had given up 3 earned runs before he had gotten 6 outs. Kershaw turned it on after that, giving up only 2 hits and 0 runs for the rest of his outing. However, the damage had already been done. Those 3 runs given up in the first 2 innings were enough for Washington to get the win (although, the Nats did end up getting an insurance run in the 8th inning).

The Dodgers’ batting lineup did not perform up to standard on Friday. They could only muster 2 runs and struck out 17 times. They had just 5 hits in the entire night. In the 5th inning, Los Angeles was able to grind out a run. Matt Beaty hit a single, Joc Pederson followed him up with a double, and Justin Turner cashed in with a sacrifice fly. Max Muncy did it all by himself in the 6th inning, hitting a 413-foot solo home run. Other than that, Los Angeles couldn’t produce any scores. This was quite unlike the team we saw in the regular season. The Dodgers ranked 5th in the MLB in scoring, putting up 5.47 runs per game. They were 4th in home run percentage, hitting homers on 4.4% of their plate appearances. Los Angeles will likely need to find their groove again in order to win tonight.

With a pivotal Game 3 on the line, the Dodgers will turn to Hyun-Jin Ryu as their starting pitcher. Ryu had one of the best seasons of any pitcher in the MLB this year. He has started 29 games, going 14-7 and pitching a total of 182 and 2/3 innings. He led the entire MLB with a 2.32 ERA and and a 1.2 BB/9 rate. Ryu also leads the NL with a 179 ERA+. He has a 3.10 FIP, 1.007 WHIP, and 6.79 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hyun-Jin Ryu gives up 7.9 hits, 0.8 home runs, and 2.61 runs per 9 innings.

Washington

The Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg pitched the game of his life against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Divisional Series. Strasburg went 6 full innings and gave up just 1 run. He notched 10 strikes and gave up 0 walks. 57 out of his 85 pitchers were called strikes and he allowed only 3 hits. Strasburg handed the ball off to the Nationals’ much maligned bullpen, and they performed well.

Sean Doolittle, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Hudson combined for 3.0 innings pitched, 1 earned run allowed, 7 strikeouts, 2 hits allowed, and 2 walks. You may be thinking, “wait, I thought Max Scherzer pitched 6 innings in the NL Wild Card Game three days before,” and you would be right. However, Scherzer shocked all in the stadium by trotting on to the mound to pitch the 8th inning. Max Scherzer had a routine inning, striking out all 3 batters he faced. 11 of his 14 pitches he threw were called strikes.

The Nationals’ batters were able to jump on Clayton Kershaw early in the ball game. Part of it was Kershaw’s early lack of control, but part of it was just the Nationals’ hitting prowess. Trea Turner was able to get a double on the first at-bat of the game. Anthony Rendon drew a walk, Juan Soto drew a hit-by-pitch and Howie Kendrick singled to drive in Turner. That got the score to 1-0 in the 1st inning. In the 2nd inning, Victor Robles got on base by another drawn hit-by-pitch. Adam Eaton got a hit to drive in Robles and Rendon doubled to drive in Eaton. By this time, it was Washington up 3-0 over the Dodgers. This 3 run lead proved insurmountable for Los Angeles to overcome. Washington ranked 6th in scoring in the regular season, putting up 5.39 runs per game. They ranked 5th in offensive strikeout percentage, 8th in offensive walk percentage, and 9th in extra base hit percentage.

It is expected that Max Scherzer will be the starter for game 3. Scherzer has been an all-star 7 times in a row, and he has finished in the top 5 of the NL Cy Young voting 6 years in a row. The veteran right-hander has had phenomenal season, once again. In 27 starts, Scherzer has a 2.92 ERA on 172 and 1/3 innings pitched. He led all of baseball with a 2.45 FIP and a 7.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Scherzer led the NL with a 12.6 K/9 rate. He has given up 7.5 hits, 0.9 home runs, and 3.08 runs per 9 innings.

Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends

Dodgers

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA Dodgers’ last 6 games.

LA Dodgers are 8-1 SU in their last 9 games.

LA Dodgers are 10-4 SU in their last 14 games against Washington.

Nationals

Washington is 10-1 SU in their last 11 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Washington’s last 9 games against LA Dodgers.

Washington is 1-5 SU in their last 6 games when playing at home against LA Dodgers.

ESPN MLB Scores Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals

I’m taking the Washington Nationals -1.5 (+176) in this matchup. There is value in this bet because of the way the Nationals are using their bullpen. The Nationals had one of the worst bullpens in the MLB this year. They ranked 29th in bullpen ERA on the regular season. However, their bullpen is significantly improved in the postseason because they have so many arms available. We have no idea who we might see in this one coming out the Nats’ pen. Anibal Sanchez might make an appearance or Patrick Corbin might trot to the mound after Scherzer’s done. Washington’s batters have a great deal of confidence after getting those 3 early runs on Kershaw. After the Game 1 shutout in L.A. it looked a little bleak for the Nationals’ batting lineup. Washington came out early in Game 2 and made a statement. If Scherzer can pitch like he did in Game 2 of the series, the Nationals have a solid chance of winning this by 2 or more. I like the Nationals on the runline today.

Washington Nationals -1.5 (+176)
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