The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers will get started with the first game in a three-game series this weekend. The Nationals are in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium for a tough assignment against the 5-2 Dodgers. Washington has played in only three games this season because of a delayed start.
They are one of the only teams to have to push back the start of their season because of Covid. Through three outings, the Nationals have one win in three attempts. They opened the season with a surprising 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves, and then dropped a 7-6 and 2-0 decision. The offense was absent in their most recent outing on Wednesday in the second game of a double-header.
The Nationals didn’t record a run against Huascar Ynoa and the bullpen. In fact, they had only 2 hits on the board, with Ynoa conceding 2 hits through 5 innings and the bullpen walking just 2 batters and no runs. Keep in mind that this was a 7 inning game as a result of the double-header. That said, only 2 hits and no runs isn’t going to beat anyone no matter if it’s a 7 or 9 inning contest.
Juan Soto is going to attempt to hold the Nationals up this season, but a lack of depth is always going to come back to hurt them. Soto was the hero on Opening Day with a walk-off single to give the Nats a 6-5 win. It was an impressive way to start the season, but don’t expect a lot of help for Soto. The fact that the Nationals made their series against the Braves was a pretty good sign, though.
They are dealing with a Covid outbreak at the moment, with ten players placed on the IL for either testing positive or contract tracing. There are some replacement players on the active roster at the moment, so the Nationals are just trying to keep their heads above water before getting healthier. Even when they do, there is a big hill to climb in the NL East. The Dodgers are off to a predictable start with five wins in seven outings. They are coming off a 4-3 loss against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
Trevor Bauer put together a solid performance, but Jesus Luzardo won out to lead the A’s to avoid a sweep. The Dodgers still won two of three games to make it 5-1 in their past six games after losing the season opener. Joe Ross is expected to get the call on the hill for the Nationals, while Walker Buehler counters for the Dodgers at home. Head below for our free Nationals vs. Dodgers pick on April 9, 2021.
Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Betting Odds:
Nationals vs. Dodgers Prediction:
Joe Ross will get his first start for the Nationals this season tonight at Dodger Stadium. The 27-year-old showcased some promise in his first two seasons in the major leagues. It looked like Ross was getting ready to put together a promising career, and it looked promising early on in 2015 and 2016.
Ross came out in strong form as a rookie with an ERA of 3.64 and 1.11 WHIP through 76.2 innings of work. To show that it wasn’t beginner’s luck, Ross returned the next season to post an ERA of 3.43 and 1.30 WHIP. He received more work that season, with 19 starts through 105 innings.
It’s when teams started to figure Ross out that things began to trend in the wrong direction. As a pitcher, you have to continually be working on your craft and mastering more than a couple of pitches. Major leaguers will eventually catch on and that’s what is going on with Ross. He has been unable to finish with an ERA below 5.00 in the last three years.
In Ross’s most recent season, he was moved to the bullpen after failing to generate much traction in the rotation. He had a career-low ERA of 5.48 and 1.67 WHIP. Opponents were hitting .291 against Ross last year. The Dodgers are hitting a whopping .407 against Ross in 24 at-bats.
Walker Buehler got off to a quick start this season on the bump. He allowed 4 hits and 2 earned runs in a tricky spot against the Rockies at Coors Field. Buehler left the game with a 3.00 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. The Rockies hit .167 against Buehler through 6 innings. The current Nationals roster has had it tough against Buehler, as he’s held them to a .176 batting average in 31 at-bats. No one has taken Buehler deep yet.
Buehler was outstanding at Dodger Stadium last season. He struggled on the road, but Dodger Stadium was his sanctuary. Buehler was lights out with a 1.31 ERA and 0.68 WHIP through 20.2 innings. Teams were hitting just .114 against Buehler in the shortened 2020 season. It’s juicy for a runline, but believe the Dodgers by at least 2 runs is the best bet here.