The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the first two of their three game series against the Washington Nationals and look to finish with a sweep today (10.10pm ET Wednesday).
Buoyed by their teenage sensation Julio Urias (pictured), the Dodgers continue to gain ground on first place San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Read on for our preview of game three with predictions and betting picks.
In game one, Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the Dodgers and continued to show why he is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. The three-time Cy Young award winner is leading all pitchers with wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA, WHIP and complete games. Against a high-powered Nationals line-up, Kershaw allowed just six hits and one run while striking out eight. With the Nationals forced to scratch Stephen Strasburg from what would have been a top-level pitcher’s duel, the Dodgers won the game 4-1.
In the second of the three-game series, Scott Kazmir took the mound for LA and pitched good enough to keep the Dodgers in it. Allowing just two runs, both of which were solo shot home runs, Kazmir pitched six strong innings. Tanner Roark pitched for the Nationals and had a quality start himself allowing just three runs over 7.1 innings pitched. It was Yasmani Grandal’s home run however for the Dodgers in the 8th inning off that ended Roark’s night and was enough to put Los Angeles up for good. The Dodgers took the win, 3-2.
In today’s game three, the 19-year-old Urias will make the sixth start of his career, one that has so far gone exactly as the Dodgers had hoped. His ERA is 4.50, and he has been improving in each and every start. In fact, in his last outing, Urias threw five scoreless innings and struck out eight. The Dodgers, one of the hottest teams in baseball as of late, will look to their young hurler to get the job done and get the team their sixth win in six tries.
Taking the mound for the Nationals is Joe Ross. Still young himself at just 23, Ross has been a big part of the Nationals’ top level rotation which currently ranks fourth in all of MLB in ERA. A strong starter, Ross has struggled a bit as of late, allowing 11 runs in his last three starts. However, the Nationals are confident that Ross will find his way sooner rather than later. Although against the Dodgers, it’s not exactly the easiest line-up to get back into the swing of things.
And speaking of a player Washington needs to get back into the swing of things as they hold just a 4.5 game lead in the NL East over the New York Mets, is Bryce Harper. A .300+ hitter on a power surge earlier in the season, Harper has struggled mightily as of late. His average is down to just .258 and he has just two extra base hits in his last 10. Against Kershaw, Harper struck out three times.
Fortunately for DC, Daniel Murphy has been on a blazing hot pace as he charges toward the first MVP award of his career. Currently leading all players with his .352 average and .978 OPS, Murphy is also seventh in the NL in RBI and fourth in slugging. He has 12 home runs and an above average .395 OBP as well.
Murphy is the unquestioned leader of the offense, which despite Harper’s struggles, is still one of the best in baseball as six players with at least 70 at bats (five of which have over 200), are batting at a .250 clip or better.
However in this series, the Nationals have been held to just three runs and are in the midst of their own streak, of the four game losing variety. They have not exactly been gifted with great pitching matchups either and despite Urias being so young, his talent has spoken for itself.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are doing everything right, both with hitting and pitching. Their six-game winning streak has featured the team scoring 22 runs while limiting their opponents to just 10. While a run differential of 12 may not seem all that dominant, in this case it is LA doing exactly what they need to do to win, and most importantly doing it all at home as the team has lost just one game on this most recent homestand.
Nationals at Dodgers Game 3 Betting Picks’ Predictions
Given the young pitchers who both had little experience against the hitters in these two lineups, it isn’t surprising that the runline would be a minimal 1.5. Here are this preview’s game 3 betting picks’ advice:
- Bet on the Dodgers -1.5 on the spread @ +155 betting odds with Bovada or 5Dimes sportsbooks.
- As for the total of 7.5, our prediction is to go with the over @ best odds of -105 with Bovada Sportsbook. Both these teams are capable of breaking out big offensive numbers and both could be due for such an explosion in this game.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.