The defending World Series champion LA Dodgers sit high atop the mountain of professional baseball. But with such accolades comes the willingness and competitiveness from opposing teams to dethrone the champ. This weekend, the Nationals and Dodgers open a three-game series. In this free MLB pick, I take a look at the opening game of the set.
Free Picks: Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
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It’s been a rocky start for the Washington Nationals. Preparing for their three-game set against the LA Dodgers, the Nationals are 1-2 to start the season.
As for the Dodgers, they have been near perfect to open the 2021 campaign. They opened the season with an L to the Rockies but managed to win 5 straight games. However, they did manage to slip up on the 7th of April against the Oakland A’s.
The Dodgers and Nationals open up a weekend series which means both bullpens and rotations should be buzzing.
The hometown Dodgers have Walker Buehler as their series starter. Buehler struck out four and allowed two runs over six innings in his first start of the season.
As for Washington, the Nationals will turn to Joe Ross. Ross opted to not play the 2019 season but has a lifetime 7.02 ERA against the Dodgers.
Ross’ ERA against the Dodgers is one of the biggest reasons I am leaning towards taking LA on the Moneyline.
For this MLB prediction, I think it makes sense to take the Dodgers straight up. LA is terrifying throughout their lineup and with a full day’s rest, they should be fully prepared for this weekend series.
The biggest difference between LA and Washington right now is the Nationals are not ready to compete. They are a middle-of-the-pack team that needs additional pieces to be considered a favorite for World Series odds.
Los Angeles is coming off a huge World Series victory, signed Trevor Bauer, and is arguably the best team in baseball. While the Nats may steal games against the Dodgers this season, it’s clear that the National League is LA’s for the taking.
The Dodgers dominate advanced stats as well. LA owns the highest BABIP (Batting Average of Balls In Play) in the league and have one of the lowest O-Swing% in the league at 24%. This means LA is relatively disciplined and doesn’t chase pitches.
Whether you want to look at it from a roster standpoint, or advanced stats perspective, I think the Dodgers are miles ahead of the Nationals in this game.
- LAD averages 6.29 runs per game.
- Buehler has won 3 straight starts.
- Ross has lost 3 straight against LAD.
- The Nats are 0-1 this season as the underdog.
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The Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals continue a three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday, August 4 at 8:10 p.m. ET, with Chicago’s Lucas Giolito expected to face Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez.
The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox continue a three-game set at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, August 4 at 7:10 p.m. ET, with Detroit’s Casey Mize expected to face Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez.
The Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds begin a two-game series at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, August 3 at 7:10 p.m. ET, with Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda expected to face Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle.
After a Friday night victory from the Nationals, Washington looks to keep rolling against their National League rival Chicago Cubs.
have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter (@Patrick_Trudeau) so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.