Nationals, Dodgers Slug it Out in Series Finale in Prime Time

Willie Bee

Sunday, April 22, 2018 12:34 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018 12:34 PM UTC

After splitting the first two games of the weekend, Washington and Los Angeles square off tonight for the rubber match. Let's find a winning wager for your ML B picks.

MLB Sunday:Nationals (10-11 SU, 10-9-2 O/U/P) vs. Dodgers (9-10 SU, 11-8 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Over 8 (-105)Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Pronounced favorites to win their respective National League divisions, tonight’s prime-time clash in Los Angeles between the Dodgers and Washington Nationals instead finds both clubs a game under .500 and 4½ games behind the curve.

ESPN’s cameras begin rolling at 8 p.m. ET. Washington calls on Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 3.86) to try and tame the LA lineup while the home side turns to lefty Alex Wood (0-2, 3.91). The Dodgers are carrying -170 to -180 chalk for the matchup with an 8-run total that most outlets have equally priced high and low.

Hellickson 0-1 With 6.88 ERA In 4 Career Starts At Dodger Stadium

The series began with a much-ballyhooed duel between 3-time Cy Young winners Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw on Friday, the Nationals getting to Kershaw early en route to a 5-2 decision in a contest Bookmaker closed LA on a -150 line with a 5½-run total. Los Angeles evened things last night behind Hyun-Jin Ryu’s pitching and three homers to blank Washington, 4-0. Saturday’s ‘under’ was the fourth in the last five meetings in LA.

It’s just the second start of the season for Hellickson who made his 2018 debut this past Monday in New York against the Mets. Now with his fourth team in the last three years, Hellickson couldn’t make it through the fifth having allowed two runs in an eventual 8-6 Washington triumph as a +155 underdog on the MLB odds. Wood also took a no-decision in his most recent assignment after Los Angeles dropped his first three starts. He beat the Nats last year in his only start against them in a Dodgers uniform, turning in six scoreless frames.

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Phil Cuzzi is up next in crew chief Tom Hallion’s group to call balls and strikes. It’s his fourth plate assignment of 2018, each of the previous three falling short of the totals. The 22-year veteran called three games at Chavez Ravine a year ago – including two in the playoffs – and "over" bettors were rewarded twice.

With the 5 p.m. local start time, both pitchers could benefit from the shadow creeping between the mound and plate. Wood and Hellickson have struggled against several hitters in each lineup, and could use any extra help they can get. I’m counting on those struggles to continue, however, with an "over" selection in my MLB picks.

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