Washington Nationals vs LA Dodgers Preview and Free Pick

Washington (43-27) at LA Dodgers (38-33)
When: Monday, June 20th 2016
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:10 ET | TV: ESPN

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Two pitchers who are a combined 20-1 will square off Monday night in Los Angeles as Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers host Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. Washington enters the three-game series with 10 wins in their last 14 games, but dropped the last two over the weekend in San Diego. They still lead the National League East by 5.5 games over the Miami Marlins. The Dodgers dropped the opener of a four-game series with Milwaukee on Thursday, but came back to win the final three including a pair of one-run games. Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig is set to make his return tonight from the DL. He was batting .237 before landing on the disabled list June 3rd with a strained left hamstring. Trayce Thompson has reached base safely in 14 of his last 18 games and figures to receive most of the starts in left field when Puig returns to his spot in right. Washington’s Michael Taylor went 4-for-4 with two home runs in Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Padres and could receive another start in center field over Ben Revere on Monday against the left-handed Kershaw. Dodgers 2B/OF Howie Kendrick is 8-for-18 during his six-game hitting streak.


Pitchers: Nationals – Stephen Strasburg (10-0, 2.90 ERA) | Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw (10-1, 1.58)

Strasburg settled for a no-decision on Wednesday but was impressive in holding the Chicago Cubs to one run and six hits while walking one and striking out eight over seven innings. The California native is riding a 13-game winning streak dating back to last year, and the Nationals are 17-1 in his last 18 starts. Chase Utley is 4-for-27 with seven strikeouts against Strasburg, who is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four career starts versus the Dodgers.

Kershaw won his eighth straight decision on Wednesday after allowing two runs and posting 11 strikeouts over 7.1 innings in a 3-2 victory over Arizona. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner leads the majors in ERA (1.58), WHIP (0.66), strikeouts (133) and innings pitched (108.0). Bryce Harper is 1-for-12 with a home run and seven strikeouts against Kershaw, who is 9-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 12 career starts against Washington – including 7-0 with a 0.82 ERA over his last seven starts.

Runs are going to be hard to come by tonight. The total is too low for my liking and I’m not laying -182 against a team who’s only lost one time in 18 games with Strasburg on the mound. I’m going to take a stab at Washington and their big underdog price.

Pick: Nationals +170