Game 1 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals on Friday on FS1 should be a great pitching matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. The Dodgers ace was on pace for a historic season before getting hurt and he comes in with a 12-4 record and a 1.69 ERA. His counterpart, Scherzer is one of the leading contenders to win the NL Cy Young award as he is 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA. Let’s look at Game 1 and MLB picks.
Game 1 MLB Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers -145, total 6 under
Probable Pitching Matchup – Kershaw vs. Scherzer
Kershaw has been stellar in the regular season but his postseason numbers have been poor as he has a 4.59 career postseason ERA. There is no real logic to his poor playoff numbers and this could be the year he turns those around. Kershaw is 1-1 in his last three starts overall with a 0.90 ERA. He pitched against the Nationals back in June and allowed one run in seven innings. In his last three starts against the Nationals the Dodgers have won all three games and every game went under the total.
Scherzer led the league in strikeouts with 284 and won 20 games for the second time in his career. He is 3-0 in his last three starts although his ERA is 5.09 in those games. He has not faced the Dodgers since last July when the Dodgers beat him 5-0. That was his only start against L.A. as a member of the Nationals.
This game will start at 5:30 pm Eastern which means shadows will be a major factor early in the game making it even tougher on the hitters.
"Because of TV and because of where you are in that slot, somebody is going to play in the shadows," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "Twilight – you know, my brother is in insurance and he said most accidents happen at twilight. Everything happens at twilight because the sun’s neither helping, nor the lights until it gets dark."
The Dodgers have not been that good on the road this season going just 38-43 with 41 going over, 33 going under with 7 pushes. Los Angeles is scoring about 4.5 runs per game and allowing 3.7 per contest.
The Nationals have been very good at home going 50-31 with 40 going over, 37 going under with 4 pushes. Washington is scoring 4.7 runs per game and allowing 3.5 per contest.
The Dodgers dominated the Nationals this season winning five of the six meetings with three games going over and three going under. The Dodgers have also taken four of the last five in Washington.
It is hard to see how either of these teams scores more than a couple of runs as Kershaw and Scherzer should dominate and the closers for each team are excellent. I will take this game under the total.