LA Dodgers (52-42) at Washington (56-37)
When: Tuesday, July 19th 2016
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: SportsNet LA, MASN2
The Washington Nationals will host the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game set in the Nation’s Capital. Washington continued their strong pitching over the weekend by holding the Pirates to three total runs in the series win. They dropped Sunday’s contest 2-1 in 18 innings after Daniel Murphy tied the game with a homerun in the bottom of the 9th. The Nationals pitching has allowed two or fewer runs in six straight games as Reynaldo Lopez – making his MLB debut – will try and keep that going. The Dodgers didn’t fare as well over the weekend dropping two of three in Arizona to begin their road trip. They are still just 5.5 games back of San Francisco in the N.L. West standings. Kenta Maeda could not make it out of the fifth inning in Sunday’s 6-5 setback, which dropped Los Angeles to 22-24 on the road. Los Angeles CF Joc Pederson (shoulder) is expected to come off the 15-day DL during the series.
Pitchers: Dodgers – Scott Kazmir (7-3, 4.52 ERA) | Nationals – Reynaldo Lopez (NA)
Scott Kazmir has been one of the most inconsistent pitchers and hardest to predict in all of baseball this year. He seems to follow a solid outing with a poor one, but still hasn’t registered a loss since May 9th with five wins and six no-decisions in that span. Kazmir was solid against the Nationals on June 21st, when he allowed two runs in six innings in a game the Dodgers went on to win 3-2.
Lopez participated in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend and hit 100 mph with his fastball. He has recorded 109 strikeouts in 87.1 innings in the minors this season. Lopez is filling the rotation spot vacated by Joe Ross (shoulder) and fellow prospect Lucas Giolito, who was sent back to the minors prior to the break. Lopez has a 4-5 record with a 3.19 ERA in 16 starts spread between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse.
I have to go with Kazmir and the Dodgers in this one. He hasn’t lost in over two months and the Nationals are struggling to score runs. L.A. should be able to hit Lopez after one turn in the batting order and he probably won’t pitch past the 6th inning.
Pick: Dodgers +105