The Washington Nationals head to Los Angeles for a weekend three-game series against the Dodgers. To start things off, we have Walker Buehler vs. Joe Ross, which on paper is a pretty lopsided matchup. The Dodgers have started the season 5-2, coming off a loss after winning five in a row. LA could be without OF Cody Bellinger, who is dealing with a calf injury and could land on the injured list. Bellinger’s absence could have a slight impact on how we approach the lines for Friday. Let’s take a look at the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Note: Bellinger (calf) and Mookie Betts (back) are not in the lineup for the Dodgers.
Moneyline pick: Nationals +245
This is a tough call. The Dodgers are -295 on the moneyline, which isn’t really an appealing line. The Dodgers have played a few close games this season and will likely be without Bellinger. If the Nationals can work Buehler out of the game, they’ll have a shot at winning. Washington lost 2 of 3 against the Atlanta Braves in their first series, but the deficit in the two losses was only three runs. I think this game will be closer than the line suggests and there really isn’t much value in taking the Dodgers at nearly -300.
Player Prop: Walker Buehler O7.5 strikeouts (+121)
If you want to fade the moneyline — which isn’t a bad idea — then you can ride Buehler having a strong outing. The Nationals have struck out 25 times as a team in three games this season, which is around 8.3 per game. Buehler’s career K/9 is 10.3 and back in 2019, he missed plenty of bats with 215 Ks in 182.1 IP. In three games vs. the Nats in his career, Buehler has 15 Ks in 13.1 IP. So if Buehler can be last around 6-7 innings, he has a good shot at reaching at least 8 Ks on a juiced line.
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