Dodgers-Nationals MLB Picks: ML & Total Play as Big Names Take to the Mound

Darin Zank

Sunday, July 19, 2015 11:59 AM UTC

Sunday, Jul. 19, 2015 11:59 AM UTC

Two guys with a combined ERA of 3.50 meet when Zack Greinke and the Dodgers play a rubber match with Max Scherzer and the Nationals Sunday afternoon in DC. Anyone else thinking UNDER?

Dodgers-Nats Sunday Betting Odds
As of this writing the best price we could find on Los Angeles with Zack Greinke was the +101 offered at 5Dimes, while Washington and Max Scherzer could be found at -102 at Pinnacle. And most online sportsbooks were listing the total on today's game at 6.5 runs, although there were some sixes to be found on the MLB odds board, too.


The Situation
These teams have split the first two games of this series, Washington winning the continuation of Friday's game 5-3, LA taking Saturday's regularly-scheduled match 4-2. So the Dodgers have won five of their last seven games, while Saturday's loss snapped a three-game winning steak for the Nats.

At 52-40 LA leads the NL West by 3.5 games over second-place San Francisco.

At 49-40 Washington leads the NL East by three games over the second-place Mets.


Sunday's Starters
Scherzer (10-7, 2.11) is 14-for-18 on quality starts this season, and five for his last six. Last Sunday he held Baltimore to two runs through 8 2/3 innings, which was a nice bounce-back effort, after giving up five runs in less than five innings against Cincinnati the start previous. For the season Scherzer has allowed just 89 hits through 132 innings, while compiling a ridiculous strikeouts/walks ratio of 150/14;

Washington is 11-7 in Scherzer's starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 12-5 margin.

Last year, pitching for Detroit, Scherzer started twice against the Dodgers, allowing three runs and 12 hits through 14 innings; his Tigers split those two games, and both games played UNDER.

Greinke (8-2, 1.39), by our tough accounting, is 15-for-18 on quality starts this year, running on a string of seven in a row. Ten days ago he tossed eight innings of one-hit, shutout ball against Philly, and over his last seven starts, which includes an active 35 2/3-innings scoreless streak, he's allowed a total of three runs through 50 1/3 innings. On the season Greinke has allowed just 84 hits through 123 innings, walked just 20 and whiffed 106; the Dodgers are 12-6 in Greinke's starts, with the totals splitting 9-9.

Greinke started once against Washington last year, giving up two runs and five hits through three rain-shortened innings of a 4-0 Los Angeles loss.


Sunday's Batting Splits
Los Angeles ranks 17th this season against right-handed pitching with a .253 team batting average, but second with a .331 team on-base percentage.

Washington ranks 13th against righties with a .256 BA and 13th in OBP at .320.


Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Nationals Park this season are 23-19 on the UNDERS, averaging 7.0 runs per, fourth-fewest among all ML ballparks.


Injury Update
Washington is playing without lead-off hitter Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth, who are all on the DL with various ailments. That's almost half the regular starting lineup.


Sunday's Free MLB Picks
We gotta give Greinke the edge in the pitching match-up, and LA owns an edge with the sticks, especially with those Nationals injuries. So we like the Dodgers today. Also, the way these two starters are pitching, we can't help but play the UNDER.

Picks: LA +101 at 5Dimes and UNDER 6.5 runs (-112) at Pinnacle.

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