Washington at Los Angeles MLB Lines Preview

Posted by Jordan Walterss on June 21, 2016 in

One of the marquee series of the season comes to a conclusion on Wednesday night from Dodger Stadium when the Washington Nationals, the leaders of the NL East, face the Dodgers in what could very easily be a playoff preview. The Dodgers are slight favorites on betting lines for Wednesday. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN.

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Lines Preview

When: Wednesday, June 22, 10 PM ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Probable pitchers (away/home): Joe Ross/Julio Urias
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: MLB Media Center
Opening MLB Lines: Dodgers -128 (7.5)



Nationals at Dodgers Game Background

Baseball bettors were denied a chance to see the first-ever meeting between Washington ace Stephen Strasburg and Dodgers three-time Cy Young winner and 2016 betting favorite Clayton Kershaw on Monday. That’s because the Nationals scratched Strasburg before the game with an upper back strain. I’m not a fan of either Washington or the Dodgers, but I really wanted to see that.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters after Washington’s 4-1 loss that the team doesn’t think Strasburg’s injury is serious and that he is hopeful the right-hander will make his next start this weekend. Entering Monday, Kershaw was 9-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) against Washington. He continued his strong showings against the team by allowing six hits and one earned run in seven innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. He now has won eight consecutive starts against the Nationals and has allowed two runs over his past five starts (38 innings) against them.

The Strasburg-Kershaw matchup would have been just the second in baseball history between pitchers with double-digit victories and fewer than two defeats. In 1900, the Dodgers’ Joe McGinnity and the Phillies’ Bill Bernhard met when each pitcher had a 12-1 record. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth Monday to move into first place on the Dodgers’ all-time save list. Jansen passed Eric Gagne with his 162nd career save.

You may not see Washington outfielder Ben Revere in this series because he struggles to hit left-handers and the Dodgers have all lefties going in the series. Michael Taylor likely would start again Wednesday against Dodgers left Julio Urias (0-2, 4.50), considered by some the top pitching prospect in baseball. Urias was on point in Friday’s start versus the Brewers, striking out eight and walking just one across five shutout innings. He did not factor into the decision as the Dodgers won the game in extra innings. The rookie’s electric stuff was on display again Friday, as he set a new career-high in punchouts and pounded the strike zone at a 65% clip. Urias is just 19 so this could be his final start in the majors this season as the team wants to limit his innings.

“I think that’s something we have constant conversations about and I can’t sit here right now and tell you his fate for the next month,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Urias now has 22 innings pitched over his five major league starts. Combined with his 41 innings earlier this year at Triple-A Oklahoma City, his 63 total innings are approaching his career high of 87⅔ innings at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2014 at the age of 17.

The Nationals go with 23-year-old right hander Joe Ross (6-4, 3.13). He beat the Padres last Friday, allowing three runs with six strikeouts and two walks across six innings. Ross fell behind early after allowing a two-run homer to Matt Kemp in the bottom of the first, but he settled down and yielded just one run over the next five frames.

Ross hasn’t faced the Dodgers this season. Yasiel Puig, whom the Dodgers are activating off the disabled list on Tuesday, is 2-for-3 career off Ross with a triple, homer and five RBIs.


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Expert Prediction

Urias has gotten better in each start, but the Nationals still have a better lineup than the Dodgers and Ross has been very solid. Go Nats and under the total on betting odds.