The Los Angeles Dodgers look to respond after failing to top the Washington Nationals on Saturday. They fell by a score of 5-2 after a grand slam in the top of the 8th inning. Walker Buehler was strong in a starting role, though the bullpen blew the game and handed Buehler a tough one to swallow following an outstanding outing for him.
It happens all of the time and Buehler happened to be a victim of a shoddy bullpen Saturday. The Nationals are still well back in the NL East, as they struggle to find traction in the post Bryce Harper era. It isn’t even really Harper missing that is sinking the Nationals so far. It’s more along the lines of a terrible bullpen that can’t get any outs.
However, the Nationals weren’t the team with bullpen issues on Saturday. That was the Dodgers who wasted a terrific effort by Buehler in that contest. Nevertheless, it’s a small loss for the Dodgers, a team that are at the top of the National League. Conversely, the Nationals don’t look like a postseason team and likely are not going to go anywhere. They’re a 16-23 team as opposed to 26-16 for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers haven’t looked too special against the Nationals this week, though. Note that the Nats are winners in two of three games so far. They can take three of four on the west coast if they can get to Ryu and Strasburg pitches well Sunday. Strasburg has been healthy, but he hasn’t been pitching like an ace. Injuries have unfortunately taken a beating on Strasburg but he can still be a decent hurler. Head below for our free Nationals vs. Dodgers pick.
Washington Nationals vs. L.A. Dodgers Pick:
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The Nationals are only 16-23 but can get a nice lift with three wins in four games against the Dodgers. Even if they win Sunday, though, it is hard to see the Nationals doing anything in the NL East. It is going to be difficult to close out this series with a win as well.
They must get past Ryu who has developed into a nasty weapon for the Dodgers. His effort has fallen through the cracks without getting much attention, but his numbers suggest that Ryu has been elite. He’s been pitching like an ace and should be getting some recognition. Ryu enters with an ERA of 2.03 and 0.81 WHIP while excelling at home.
Ryu goes into Sunday with a 1.55 ERA at Dodger Stadium. He has also been sharp recently with an ERA of 1.12 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in his previous three starts. Ryu is coming off a stellar outing, with just 4 hits and no runs allowed across 7 innings of work against the Braves.
Strasburg is likely going to need to be on point here. Strasburg has looked great in spots, but Ryu is pitching at his best recently. He’s on pace for a career-high ERA this season. I think that we are going to see the Dodgers with a better showing after losing two of three in this series. Go with the Dodgers to settle for a split and get a win Sunday.