Are the Dodgers a Safe MLB Betting Pick Against the Nationals?

Posted by Michael Hunt on Tuesday,June 6, 2017 9:14, EST in

It’s one of the marquee series of the 2017 MLB season this week in Los Angeles as the Washington Nationals are in town for a three-game set. Wednesday’s matchup between aces Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw might be the most intriguing pitching showdown of the year. The Nationals are coming off a weekend series against the Oakland Athletics, winning it at 2-1. The Dodgers had a 3 game series this weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers, which ended at 2-1 as well. Right now, the Nationals took the first game of the series last night and face each other tonight for Game 2. The Dodgers will be home MLB betting favorites.

Washington at LA Dodgers MLB Betting Prediction & Game Info

When: Wednesday, June 7, 3:10 PM ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, LA
Probable pitchers (away/home): Stephen Strasburg/Clayton Kershaw
TV: MLB Network
Stream: MLB.tv
RadioWashington / Los Angeles
Opening MLB Lines: Dodgers favored by TBA

Why Bet On Washington?

The Nationals will be without left fielder Jayson Werth, who is going on the 10-day disabled list. The feeling is that Werth is probably only a few days away from being ready to play, but the Nationals didn’t want to play with a short bench. He should be ready to return in mid-June. Ryan Raburn will take Werth’s spot on the roster.

Werth fouled a pitch off his foot Saturday. It will interrupt what had been a season of youthful vigor for the 38-year-old, who has bounced around the field like a much younger man, sliding into bases and diving in the outfield, as he hit .262 with an .813 OPS in his first 47 games. Without him, the Nationals will need to find someone to fill the second spot in the order, which they have been unsuccessful in filling in his absence since Adam Eaton went down with injury.

The Nats lead the league in runs scored, batting average, and on-base percentage. Their starters have averaged seven innings, pitched to a 2.10 ERA, and compiled an 8.44 strikeout-to- walk ratio in the last 11 games. The Nationals are 15 games over .500 and have a double-digit lead in their division. Somehow, Stephen Strasburg hasn’t faced off against Kershaw in his career even though Strasburg has been in the majors since 2010. Strasburg (7-1, 2.91) allowed two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out seven over seven innings in Friday’s 13-3 rout of the A’s. The right-hander has now won five straight starts and six of his last seven, posting a 2.75 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 50:14 K:BB in 39.1 innings over that stretch.

“When you can throw 95,” bench coach Chris Speier explained, “as a hitter you’ve got to protect against the fastball, but he had — the last two outings he’s had his curveball working really, really well, and so it’s, like I said, ‘Good luck.’ As a hitter, that’s not easy.”

Last season, Strasburg was supposed to match up against Clayton Kershaw in L.A., but Strasburg was scratched with an upper back strain prior to the game. He enters this game on a roll, with a 1.66 ERA and 33 strikeouts in his past three starts.

Why Bet On LA Dodgers?

Third baseman Justin Turner (hamstring) began a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday. It was reported Sunday that Turner probably wouldn’t begin a rehab assignment until late this week, but evidently that timetable was pushed up. He should need just a few games to show he’s healthy before being activated by the end of the week.

It’s lefty Kershaw (7-2, 2.28) on the mound. Kershaw gave up just one run on two hits over seven innings Friday, striking out 14 in an extra-inning win over the Brewers. The Dodgers’ ace had everything clicking in this one, throwing 72 of his 103 pitches for strikes. Kershaw’s lone mistake was a solo home run off the bat of Domingo Santana in the seventh inning, but he was otherwise dominant against a less-than-intimidating Milwaukee lineup. The 14Ks were one shy of a career high.

“He was unbelievable,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I don’t know what else to say. He was lights-out. He had command of everything he got moving toward home plate.”

Kershaw crossed the 2,000 strikeout threshold for his career. Kershaw became the second fastest — in terms of games pitched — to reach that milestone, needing just 277 games to achieve the historic mark, trailing only The Big Unit, who accomplished the feat in 262 games. Kershaw also is the third-fastest all time to reach the mark by innings (1,836), behind only Pedro Martinez (1,715⅓ innings) and Johnson(1,734 innings). Kershaw is the fourth pitcher to get to 2,000 strikeouts in a Dodgers uniform. The other three — Don Sutton (2,696), Don Drysdale (2,486) and Sandy Koufax (2,396) — are in the Hall of Fame.

Kershaw makes his first appearance against the Nationals since last year’s save in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

Washington at LA Dodgers MLB Betting Pick: Under Total

There’s going to be a very low total here, likely 6.5, and I’m still going under. Both guys are capable of throwing a complete-game shutout.