The 2019 World Series winners meet the reigning MLB champions on Friday, April 9, so here’s the best Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers betting pick for the opening contest of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium in LA.
The Nationals open as massive +220 underdogs for Friday’s clash, according to BetRivers Sportsbook. They miss nine players due to the COVID-19 medical protocols including catchers Alex Avila and Yan Gomes, 1B Josh Bell, OF Kyle Schwarber, and the lefty closer Brad Hand. It’s no strange that LA is a -245 fave to win this game.
The Nats are coming off a doubleheader against Atlanta
Washington postponed its first four games of the season due to the COVID-19 issues, so the Nationals started their 2021 campaign with a three-game home series against Atlanta, suffering a 2-1 defeat. After a 6-5 victory in the opener, the Nats suffered a couple of losses on Wednesday’s doubleheader, 7-6 and 2-0.
The Nationals smacked a couple of home runs through their first three outings while slashing .250/.347/.381 which seems pretty good considering half of their lineup is on the shelf. Still, their pitching staff posted a 5.09 ERA against the Braves’ prolific offense.
Joe Ross will take the mound for the Nats on Friday and make his first appearance since 2019. The 27-year-old righty has had a lot of injury problems over the last few years and missed the entire 2020 season. He’s 21-19 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 57 career starts and 21 relief appearances.
The Dodgers wrapped up a seven-game road trip with a tough loss in Oakland
The Dodgers are 5-2 on the season following a painful 4-3 defeat to the Oakland Athletics in ten innings this past Wednesday. Kenley Jansen blew his first save of the season, and the Dodgers allowed the A’s to earn their first win in 2021.
Mookie Betts missed Wednesday’s clash due to a back injury and is questionable to play Friday, while Cody Bellinger will miss some time due to a calf injury. The Dodgers hit just seven round-tripper through their first seven games while slashing .310/.409/.492. They rank second in batting average and third in slugging percentage.
Walker Buehler will take the hill for the Dodgers on Friday, and the 26-year-old righty pitched six innings in a no-decision at Colorado on April 3. He yielded a couple of earned runs on four hits and struck out four while allowing no free passes.
- 5-12 in the last 17 games on the road
- 5-1 in the last six games overall
- 12-3 in the last 15 games at home
The Winner Prediction
The Nationals are quite shorthanded, so I’m expecting the Dodgers to win by two or more runs even if Mookie Betts remains sidelined. The hosts have a lot of offensive weapons, while Walker Buehler should outplay Joe Ross on the mound.
Ross hasn’t posted an ERA south of 5.00 since 2016, so he could easily struggle against one of the best offenses in baseball. The Nats’ bullpen will miss a few hands, so go with the reigning champs to cover a 1.5-run spread.
Pick: Take Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 at -125
The totals could be a tricky wager because Walker Buehler will probably torture the Nationals through the first five or six innings. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers hit hard and smack a couple of homers off Joe Ross and the Nationals’ relievers, so I’m going with the over.
Five of the Nationals’ last six games went in the over, while four of the Dodgers’ previous five went in the under. I would stick with the hosts to cover.
Pick: Go over 8.5 runs at -110