Los Angeles Dodgers (+100) at Washington Nationals (-110, 7 o/u)
A possible playoff preview is on tap tonight as the MLB returns from its All-Star Break. The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (51-39, 18-22 Away) travel to the nation’s capital to face their NL-East counterparts, the Washington Nationals (48-39, 25-16 home), at Nationals Park in the first of a three-game series (7:05 PM Eastern).
Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw was originally scheduled to get the start, but manager Don Mattingly decided to give the three-time Cy Young winner an extra day of rest. Instead, Mike Bolsinger (4-3, 3.08 ERA) will take the mound for L.A. against Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman (8-5, 3.22 ERA).
The Dodgers closed the first half of the season by winning four of five, increasing their lead in the NL West to 4.5 games over San Francisco. But they have a tough slate post-break, hitting the road for nine in a row.
Making matters worse, Bolsinger hasn’t won since June 8 when he took down a mediocre Diamondbacks squad. IN his last six starts, the 27-year-old righty is 0-2 with four no-decisions. He was decent last time out, though, throwing six innings of four-hit, two-run ball against the Brewers.
On the other side, Zimmerman was just starting to regain his All-Star form before the mid-season hiatus. He won three straight starts before the break, upping his record to three games over .500. That said, his last start left a little to be desired, as he gave up nine hits and four earned over just five innings against the Orioles. Luckily for “Zim”, the Washington offense exploded for seven runs and he picked up the W.
In the trends, Washington is 9-2 straight-up in its last 11 games at home. With Zimmerman rounding into form, take the Nats – who are strong at home – to take down a Dodger team that is below .500 on the road.
Pick: Nationals (-110).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Clayton Kershaw Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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