The Washington Nationals (1-4, 0-2 away) and Los Angeles Dodgers (7-2, 2-0 home) conclude a three-game National League cross country series on Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles got the better of the Nationals in the first two, 1-0 and 9-5.
Sunday’s series finale’s first pitch is at 4:10 p.m. EST inside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. According to oddsmakers, the Dodgers are favored on the moneyline (-160), and the runs total is 7.5.
What to Know – Washington Nationals
Washington had its opening series against the New York Mets postponed due to COVID protocols within the franchise and have not been able to round into form yet. After an opening day victory, the Nationals have dropped four straight, including a pair where they did not score any runs.
The Nationals ace Max Scherzer (0-0, 6.00 ERA, 0.83 WHIP) toes the rubber in his second start of the season for the visitors. Scherzer was roughed up in his season debut, surrendering four home runs to the Atlanta Braves. The right-hander lasted 6.0 innings, allowed five hits, and struck out nine.
Washington is putting the ball in play, sporting a .282 team batting average. Outfielder Juan Soto is off to a hot start, hitting .375 (6-for-16) with a pair of home runs, six runs scored, and four RBI.
Veteran first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has tapped into the Fountain of Youth, batting a team-high .471 (8-of-16) at the dish. Shortstop Trea Turner has a pair of home runs through five games also.
The Nationals pitching has gotten roughed up a bit by the Braves and Dodgers lineups, with a 5.31 team ERA. Closer Brad Hand was placed on the IL to start the season but is back active to bolster the Washington bullpen.
What to Know – Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are off to a sparkling start to the 2021 season with only a pair of defeats through the first nine games. A favorite to repeat as World Series champs, Los Angeles has looked in midseason form at the dish and mound.
Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 4.26 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) makes his third start of the 2021 campaign and will try to mimic his second outing. The lefty pitched 7.0 innings, scattered four hits, allowed one earned run, and struck out eight in a victory over the Oakland A’s.
Offensively, the Dodgers lineup is seeing success from top-to-bottom with a .293 team average. Los Angeles is happy to have brought back the third baseman Josh Turner as the veteran boasts a .412 (14-for-34) average with two home runs, nine RBI, and seven runs scored.
First baseman Max Muncy (.379 avg) and catcher Will Smith (two HRs) have added offense at the bottom of the lineup. All-star outfielder Mookie Betts has sat out the first two games of the series with lower back soreness.
The Dodgers’ bullpen has provided Los Angeles with solid relief appearances as expected from their stable of arms. One surprise has been who the Dodgers turn to for saves, as veteran closer Kenley Jansen has one save and Corey Knebel has two.
The Pick is In
No Betts, no problem for the Dodgers lineup after missing the last three games due to injury. The depth on offense for L.A. is why the Dodgers are favored to hoist the World Series trophy again.
Washington began the season against two solid teams, with some of their players still recovering from the coronavirus. The Nationals are a good team but don’t have the star-power to compete with the Dodgers lineup.
The Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers ML