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Dodgers, Nationals Battle in the Nation’s Capital

In-game one of the Dodgers vs. Nationals series, Max Muncy’s grand slam made the difference in the result. Los Angeles claimed the win by a 6-2 margin. Washington looks to bounce back with ace Max Scherzer on the hill. He will pitch against Julio Urias.

The first pitch from Nationals Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Rain is expected throughout the game, so look for this to be a factor in the outcome. The Dodgers are favored by the online sportsbook with a moneyline of -112. The Nationals are +102 to win with the over/under set at 3 ½.

Tony Gonsolin of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images/AFP

Muncy Leads LA to Win

The Nationals have been playing well of late. They were expected to be sellers at the trade deadline. However, the National League East is still wide open, so it appears that they will compete for the division title.

Despite this, Los Angeles is on a different level than the Washington Nationals. The opening game was close, but Muncy broke the contest open before a tornado caused a delay. Ultimately, the competition was called after a 1:17 delay, giving the Dodgers their sixth straight victory.

Muncy golfed the ball out of the yard, and the shot snapped Washington’s four-game winning streak. Since the Dodgers were no-hit by the Cubs, they have been electric at the plate.

Dave Roberts has no reasoning for why his team is crushing the baseball, but it’s very fun to watch for the LA skipper. After Thursday’s win, he said, “We’ve got some good mojo going. I know the easy answer is, It’s baseball. That’s why it sort of drives us crazy at times. But, we love it.”

The Pitching Matchup

If you examined the pitching matchup before the start of the season, you would have said it heavily favors Washington Nationals. Scherzer has been sensational in 2021, but Washington will not have an easy time facing Urias.

Los Angeles usually wins when Urias takes the hill. He is 9-3 with a 3.95 ERA and 107 strikeouts. He has not been as efficient as Scherzer, but he has been reliable.

Scherzer is one of the best pitchers of his generation, and is still throwing at a high level. Scherzer is 7-4 with a 2.14 ERA. He has fanned 119 batters in 88.1 innings. Both pitchers are comparable in innings, walks, and home runs allowed.

Though Scherzer is pitching, Los Angeles’ lineup still makes them the favorite in the contest. I expect this game to be low-scoring, but the entire Dodgers’ lineup is excellent at taking advantage of mistakes.

Who Wins?

This should be competitive. Thursday was a nail-biter, but one mistake from Washington caused Muncy to break the game open. Nevertheless, Los Angeles is a better team on paper, and is playing at a high level.

For Washington to win, Scherzer will need to stay out of trouble. He has been susceptible to the home run, which could hurt him against the Dodgers. I think the potent Los Angeles lineup breaks this game open once Scherzer is removed from the game.

Bet online on Urias pitching well enough to win, and Los Angeles’ bullpen shuts the door on Washington’s winning hopes.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers ML (-112)

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