The Nationals and Dodgers take their set to a rubber game Wednesday night in LA, and the baseball odds have the home team lined as large favorites for the series finale.
If Yasiel Puig hadn't been in the lineup Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers might still be playing. The LA outfielder drove in all five runs in the game with a homer and triple, more than enough offense for Zack Greinke and Dodgers relievers to beat the Nats and level the series.
The two clubs will decide matters this evening (10:10 PM ET) with one of several marquee pitching battles on the baseball betting card, though the moneylines suggest a one-sided affair. Los Angeles is currently -211 at BetOnline with Clayton Kershaw up next in the rotation, Washington countering with Jordan Zimmermann and a 6 run total the lowest on the board.
Kershaw Seeking 7th-Straight Win vs. Nats
Washington has gone down in defeat the last three times Zimmermann took the mound, two of those setbacks on the road against NL East opponents. He pitched well the last time out, working into the seventh and allowing only one run the Rockies on four hits before reliever Drew Storen melted down to help Colorado to a 5-4 victory.
Zimmermann's only appearance vs. the Dodgers this year was cut short by an electrical problem at Nationals Park on July 17, the righthander working four frames before a lengthy delay forced him from the game. He has struggled on the road this year with an ERA about 2½ runs higher than at home and allowing batters to hit .320 against him. Pitching in LA also hasn't been easy (4.50 ERA), but the Nats have won all three of his assignments in this park.
Kershaw saw a 4-game win streak come to an end last Friday in Pittsburgh, earning a no-decision in an eventual 5-4 LA loss. The southpaw also saw his 37-inning scoreless streak stopped in that game, giving up four runs in his six innings. That scoreless inning stretch included eight shutout frames against the Nationals in Washington on July 18, his 6th-straight winning start against them with a 0.96 ERA in that span. Washington last beat Kershaw in August 2010 with a 6-3 triumph at Dodger Stadium.
Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Mr. Napoleonic Complex himself, Dan Iassogna, will be in charge of calling balls and strikes to wrap this set up, which could mean trouble for both Zimmermann and Kershaw given his often floating strike zone. Home teams have not fared well with Iassogna under the mask, going 9-13 overall and a bankroll-draining 3-9 when favored on the baseball betting card. The Nutmeg State native is 9-12-1 O/U/P on the totals, the 'under' cashing five of his last six plate assignments at Dodger Stadium.
It's tough not to imagine a low-scoring game, but Iassogna is so inconsistent. I'm biting on the 'over' for my free MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Nationals-Dodgers Over 6 (-120) at BetOnline