Washington vs LA Dodgers NLDS Game 3 Expert Pick
When a five-game series is tied at 1-1, the winner of Game 3 usually takes the series. That’s what is at stake on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles as the Dodgers host the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the NL Division Series, with L.A. a home favorite in MLB betting.
How to Bet on the Washington vs Los Angeles NLDS Game 3 Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Monday, Oct. 10, 4 PM ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Probable pitchers (away/home): Gio Gonzalez/Kenta Maeda
TV: MLB Network
Radio: Washington / Los Angeles
Opening MLB Lines: Dodgers -145, Nationals +125 (7.5)
Why Bet on Washington?
The Nationals faced a must win at home on Sunday and won 5-2 to even the series. Catcher Jose Lobaton, who is only playing because All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos tore his ACL late in the regular season, hit a three-run homer. Daniel Murphy knocked in the other two runs and Washington’s bullpen threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings. Blake Treinen went 1 1/3 innings and got the win, while lefties Marc Rzepczynski, Sammy Solis and Oliver Perez combined for seven outs as manager Dusty Baker mixed and matched his bullpen. Mark Melancon slammed the door on the Dodgers in the ninth inning, working a scoreless frame.
That Lobaton homered was a minor miracle. It was just his second hit against a lefty all year (the other one was also a homer against the Dodgers back in July). On top of that, it was just the fifth homer that Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill had allowed all year and only the second time he’d been taken deep on a curve. It was the first time he’d served up a gopher ball with runners on base.
The Nats go with lefty Gio Gonzalez in this one. Gonzalez went 11-11 with a 4.57 ERA, although his peripheral numbers — 3.76 fielding independent pitching — suggest he pitched better than that. Gonzalez is known for his big-breaking curveball, a reason that lefties hit just one home run off him this year and just three over the past three seasons. Gonzalez works off a fastball that averaged 90.8 mph during the regular season, down from the 92-93 he’s been in recent years.
Gonzalez is one of six Nationals players who have been on all three of the club’s postseason teams of 2012, 2014 and 2016. Game 3 will mark his fourth career postseason start — all with the Nationals, all in the NLDS and all in different spots in the rotation. His start is pivotal, especially given the Dodgers’ season-long struggles against left-handed pitching. Gonzalez stifled the Dodgers once this season: On July 20, he held them to one run on three hits over six innings at Nationals Park.
Why Bet on Los Angeles?
The Dodgers are kicking themselves after stranding 12 runners in Game 2 and going 0-for- 5 with the bases loaded. Corey Seager went deep again in Game 2 of the NLDS, but it wasn’t enough. Seager became the youngest player in Dodgers’ postseason history to homer with his first-inning blast in Game 1, and he did his damage again in his first at-bat on Sunday.
The Dodgers go with Japanese rookie right-hander Kenta Maeda. He was 16-11 with a 3.48 ERA this year. He has pitched in playoff games in Japan and in the World Baseball Classic. he slider is his best wipeout pitch, as batters hit just .176 against it this season — a key reason he had a large platoon split, as left-handed batters had a .730 OPS versus .580 for righties. He also was the only Dodgers starting pitcher to remain in the injury-ravaged rotation for the entire 162-game schedule.
Monday’s start will be the first time Maeda faces the Nationals. He acknowledged that typically would work in his favor, but threw that benefit out the window given it’s the playoffs. “With the postseason, everything changes, and I understand that the atmosphere and environment is different,” Maeda said.
Maeda last pitched on Oct. 2, the final day of the regular season, lasting just 2.2 innings against the Giants. He was chased after allowing a season-high nine hits and season high-tying five runs.
My Expert Prediction
Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles.
Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Nationals are 14-37 in the last 51 meetings in Los Angeles.
Nationals are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings.
Take the Nationals and the under on MLB odds.