MLB Predictions - Pick Dodgers Over Nationals At Home In Game 3

Kenta Maeda and his teammates relaxing before a game

Monday, October 10, 2016 2:26 PM GMT

Talk about your quick turnarounds. The rainout in DC on Saturday is forcing the Nationals and Dodgers to fly coast-to-coast to resume their NLDS series. Rookie Kenta Maeda gets the call for the Dodgers adding betting value to Los Angeles in this pivotal Game 3.

 

The initial matchup on the mound will be Washington's Gio Gonzalez against Dodgers rookie Kenta Maeda. Intertops, where you can get a 200% Cash Bonus, has Los Angeles as -140 chalk after the line originally went out at -150, and a 7½ run total is split evenly high and low.

Starting pitching hasn't been too effective for either side in the series, beginning with the opener this past Thursday in Washington. What looked like a super battle between Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer didn't really turn out that way with the two hurlers allowing all seven runs in their combined 11 frames of work that ended with a 4-3 LA victory that went past a 6 run total.

After Saturday's contest fell victim to rain, the teams made it up Sunday with neither starter, Rich Hill and Tanner Roark, could complete five innings of Washington's 5-2 triumph that leveled the series. That one just managed to stay 'under' a 7½ run line on the MLB odds, and the two bullpens have now combined to pitch 15.1 innings during the two games while allowing just one run.

 


Nats Seeing Maeda For First Time


Gonzalez ran hot and cold during 2016, one very rough stretch from late-May through June and closing on another bad run in September when he recorded just one quality start and a 7.43 ERA over five outings. July was a good month for the southpaw, and it was then he faced the Dodgers in DC, tossing six innings of 1-run baseball while striking out a half-dozen.

The 31-year-old has held most of the LA hitters in check over the years and pitched well in three career starts at Dodger Stadium where he is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

Maeda had a nice first season in the majors, going 16-11 with a 3.48 ERA in 32 starts (LA 19-13). His biggest issue was working deep into games, tossing a full seven innings just twice and never going past the fifth in any of his final four assignments when manager Dave Roberts and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt really cut into his pitch count. The Dodgers were 9-6 in his 15 home starts and he is facing the Nationals for the first time.

 

2016 World Series Winner Odds, Start Shopping & Comparing Them At SBR

 


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick


Ron Kulpa is next in line to call balls and strikes in this series, the 19-year veteran bringing a 16-12-2 O/U/P mark from the regular season into the contest. He didn't work the plate at Chavez Ravine in 2016 but did call two of Maeda's road starts during the year, those matchups splitting the totals. Home teams were 17-13 with Kulpa under the mask, 1-6 as favorites between -120 and -160.

The 1 PM start in LA should find plenty of sunshine and temps in the low-80s with only a hint of an SW breeze (out to right). I'm liking Maeda to keep the Nats in check through five before Roberts turns to his relief corps, and for the LA lineup to put some extra runs up to cash a free baseball pick on the run line at the end.

 

Free MLB Pick: Dodgers -1½ (+160)
Best Line Offered: at Intertops
Season: 43-43 (+2.60)

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