Matchup: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Date/Time: September 1, 8:10 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: WSH: Gio Gonzalez (6-9, 3.86) v. LA: Roberto Hernandez (8-9, 3.81)
Moneyline: Washington -115
Total: 7 -125/115
A couple of division leaders kick off a three-game series in Los Angeles as the Nationals travel down the west coast to Dodger Stadium after taking two out of three from Seattle. The Dodgers managed to take the series finale and avoid a sweep on Sunday night against San Diego. The Nationals enter this series with a six-game lead over the Atlanta Braves, the biggest lead in the National League, while the Dodgers are up by 2.5 games on the San Francisco Giants.
Gio Gonzalez will take the mound for the Nationals in this one. He will be looking for his first win since July 5. Since that victory nine starts ago, Gonzalez is 0-5 with a 4.38 ERA. The Nationals have scored 22 runs for him over those nine starts. On the season, Gonzalez is just 6-9 with a 3.86 ERA and he missed a month earlier this season with shoulder inflammation. The Nationals have only scored 3.48 runs per start for Gonzalez this season.
Roberto Hernandez has filled in admirably for the Dodgers during their time without Hyun-Jin Ryu and Josh Beckett. Ryu returned on Sunday, but Beckett remains out. Hernandez is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts for the Dodgers. Overall, Hernandez is 8-9 with a 3.81 ERA. In seven starts since the All-Star Break, Hernandez is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA. Five of those seven starts have been quality starts.
Gonzalez is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers. He has yet to face them this season. He pitched six innings in each of his previous starts with two runs allowed in 2012 and six shutout innings in 2013. The Nationals are 12-10 in Gonzalez’s 22 starts for a loss of 0.38 units.
Hernandez is 3-1 with a 1.19 ERA in his career against the Nationals. This season, he’s thrown 15.1 shutout innings against the Nationals with just nine hits allowed. His other two starts against the Nationals came in 2007 and 2010. The Dodgers are 2-2 in his four starts for a loss of 0.19 units.
Free MLB Pick: Washington Nationals
The Dodgers are in the middle of the pack against left-handers and the Nationals will be seeing Hernandez for the third time this season. The Dodgers have really struggled to score runs lately and that could be the case again with Gonzalez, who they rarely see. The Nationals were playing very well up until Sunday’s loss and their offense is clicking because players are back healthy. The Nationals should also have a bullpen advantage in the event of a close game.