Los Angeles will be looking to build on its hot start to the season when it hosts Washington in Sunday’s series finale. The Nationals dropped Friday’s opener in a 1-0 final, falling to 1-3 on the season. Los Angeles and Washington played the second game of the series on Saturday night, but this story was published prior to that contest.
Scherzer hoping to bounce backWashington got off to the latest start of any team in the MLB due to some COVID-19 issues. The Nationals had their first four games postponed, meaning they did not take the field until Tuesday. They picked up a thrilling 6-5 win over Atlanta in that contest, but they proceeded to get swept in Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Braves. Los Angeles scored the lone run of Friday’s series opener on a homer in the sixth inning. Washington had eight hits compared to the Dodgers’ four, but it was unable to scratch any runs across.
The Nationals rank No. 13 in the MLB in team batting average at .250 through their first four games. They are going to face a Los Angeles pitching staff that is No. 14 with an ERA of 3.90. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman leads Washington with five hits in 13 at-bats. Juan Soto, Starlin Castro and Jonathan Lucroy all have four hits each. Veteran right-hander Max Scherzer is expected to make the start on Sunday afternoon. Scherzer allowed four home runs and struck out nine batters against Atlanta on Opening Day. He is 5-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 12 career starts against the Dodgers.
Kershaw coming off solid outingLos Angeles entered the season with one of the highest Vegas win totals of any team in MLB history at 103.5 games. The Dodgers are the reigning World Series champions and are favored to become repeat winners in 2021. They have gotten off to a nice start, winning three out of four against Colorado to open the season. They built on that with a series win at Oakland and then picked up the 1-0 win in their home opener on Friday. Justin Turner’s sixth-inning homer was the lone run of the game. Los Angeles had their World Series ring ceremony on Friday as well.
Put a ring on it. pic.twitter.com/qlVcIWpQoO— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 10, 2021
The Dodgers are currently second in the MLB in team batting average (.310), trailing only Cincinnati. They have hit seven homers and have walked 40 times. Washington’s pitching staff is No. 23 in the MLB with a team ERA of 5.09. Veteran left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw is going to make the start for the Dodgers on Sunday. He allowed just one run and struck out eight batters across seven innings in his last start against Oakland. Kershaw was shaky on Opening Day, so it was a nice bounce back performance. He enters this game with a 1-1 record and 4.26 ERA.
Stats & Trends
The over is:
- 9-1-1 in Washington's last 11 road games vs. a left-handed starter
- 6-1 in Kershaw's last seven starts vs. an NL East opponent
The name recognition of both starting pitchers provides some value on the over in this game. Scherzer and Kershaw have been mainstays at the top of the MLB’s pitcher rankings over the last decade, which has commanded respect from oddsmakers in the betting market. However, both veterans have shown some bad signs of late. Scherzer was hit hard by the Braves in his first start and Kershaw also struggled in his 2021 debut. Neither guy was lights out in 2020. Los Angeles has the most talented lineup in baseball and is capable of knocking Scherzer out early.