Dodgers vs. Nationals Odds & Pick 7/2/21
Los Angeles Dodgers (50-31) vs. Washington Nationals (40-39)
When: 7:05 p.m., Friday, July 2
Where: Nationals Park, Washington
Moneyline: LAD -104/WAS -113 (GTBets)
Runline: Dodgers -1.5/Nationals +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Julio Urias (9-3, 3.95 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) vs. Max Scherzer (7-4, 2.14 ERA, 0.85 WHIP)
Lighting A Fire
Getting swept by the Padres seems to have lit a fire under the Dodgers, who have responded by winning their past six games and keeping runs off the scoreboard in the process. The Dodgers’ pitching certainly wasn’t doing badly prior to this past series with the Padres, but it also had room to improve after the team dropped four straight contests.
It’s tough to find any room to improve after the past week because the Dodgers have held their past six opponents to two runs or less. The Dodgers rank first in baseball in ERA for a reason, and it’s because this team knows how to keep runs from scoring. It’s already psychologically challenging for opponents to try to overcome the mental block that comes with facing the world champions, and the Dodgers don’t make it any easier by letting opponents know right away that they’re going to have to hold the score down because their pitchers probably aren’t going to give them much. When the Dodgers’ staff is motivated, there’s not one better in the game.
A cursory look at the past ten games reveals that Julio Urias has helped his team win seven of its last ten games, but a deeper look reveals that he’s not quite the same pitcher when the Dodgers go on the road. Two of the three defeats have come away from Dodger Stadium, and runs have been much easier to come by against Urias when the Dodgers leave their home.
In his past five road starts, the Dodgers have lost twice, and opponents have averaged nearly six runs per game. At home, it’s been the opposite situation: the Dodgers have given up 18 runs in five games, and 11 of those came in one bad evening at home against San Francisco. The trends have shown that the Dodgers’ success away from home with Urias has been mainly because of the Los Angeles hitters. The Dodgers’ lineup is potent enough to offset any disadvantage that traveling might cause them. Still, a better home/road split would really help Los Angeles as a whole.
You Can Go Home Again…But Do You Want To?
Here’s one of the weirdest stats in baseball: over Max Scherzer’s past eight starts, the Nationals have a 5-3 record, posting a 5-0 record away from home and going 0-3 at Nationals Park. It hasn’t been the fault of Scherzer, who hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of those starts. Instead, the problem is the inconsistency from the Nationals’ batters, who have managed to bunch their runs into games where Scherzer is really on and doesn’t need anywhere near that level of run support.
In Washington’s three losses in that stretch, the Nats have been shut out twice and scored one measly run in the other appearance. In their five wins, the Nats have provided 31 runs of offense for Scherzer (granted, they bunched 17 of these into one game against Arizona), who really hasn’t needed the help. In the Nationals’ five wins, Scherzer conceded just nine runs and never more than twice in a game. As long as the hitters give themselves something resembling a chance at the plate, the Nationals can ride their ace into a shot at a win in most games.
- The Dodgers are 12-4 in their past 16 against the NL East.
- The Dodgers are 7-3 in their last ten road games.
- The Nationals are 10-2 in their past 12 home games.
- The Nationals are 6-2 in their past eight Friday games.
- The under is 6-0-1 in the Dodgers’ past seven games.
- The under is 6-0 in the Nationals’ past six against the NL West.
- The over is 5-2 in the teams’ past seven meetings in Washington.
- The Dodgers have won seven of the past nine meetings in Washington.
It’ll be a cloudy night in the nation’s capital, with temperatures hitting 75 degrees and the wind blowing at seven miles per hour toward the first-base line.
Scherzer is the better pitcher, but the Dodgers are the better team and seem to be firing on all cylinders here. The under does look very tempting, given that it’s hit in seven of Scherzer’s past eight starts, but I think I’ll lean more toward taking the Dodgers here. They look more like themselves than they have all season, and the hitting really isn’t a concern from a below-average lineup like Washington, which has seen the under hit a remarkable 51 times.
Give me the Dodgers to keep the wins coming.