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Sunday MLB Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Nationals: Back Los Angeles to Close Out Series Sweep (July 4)

Sunday MLB Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Dodgers vs. Nationals: Back Los Angeles to Close Out Series Sweep (July 4) article feature image

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: LOs Angeles Dodgers standouts AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Washington Nationals in Sunday's Major League Baseball action.
  • The Dodgers, who are set to utilize their bullpen for this game, have a series sweep on their minds in this contest.
  • Matthew Trebby breaks down the game below and details why he's backing Los Angeles to triumph.

Dodgers vs. Nationals Odds

Dodgers Odds -141
Nationals Odds +123
Over/Under 9
Time 11:05 a.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Sunday morning via DraftKings.

The Los Angeles Dodgers go for a four-game sweep Sunday when they take on the ailing Washington Nationals.

The Dodgers are where they usually are: fighting at the top of the National League. While there has been plenty of off-the-field controversy this week, it doesn’t appear to have affected the reigning champion on the diamond. Los Angeles has won eight consecutive games entering this matchup.

Meanwhile, the Nationals were just was dealt a huge injury blow to its hottest hitter and will rely on a steady — but unspectacular — arm in an attempt to salvage the series finale.

Let’s break down where bettors can find value in this contest.

Dominant Los Angeles Still Looking to Improve

The Dodgers have the second-best record in the National League, plus the second-best run differential in baseball, get there’s still room for improvement.

Offensively, Los Angeles isn’t getting the best from Mookie Betts at the moment. The former American League MVP might not be an All-Star this season, with an .824 OPS that he will be disappointed with at the moment. Corey Seager is still out injured, playing only 37 games, while Cody Bellinger is back and still finding his feet after playing just 25 games.

Max Muncy leads the Dodgers in most offensive categories with 18 home runs, 44 RBIs and a .983 OPS entering Saturday’s game against Washington. Justin Turner is also providing huge stability in the heart of the lineup, while Will Smith and Chris Taylor have an OPS of .838 and .832 entering Saturday.

If the biggest names in the Dodgers’ lineup get healthy and rolling, they’ll be even more of a problem than they are now. That said, they’re rolling with a bullpen game in this spot. Manager Dave Roberts told the media after Saturday’s game he wasn’t sure who would be the “opener” for the finale.

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Washington Has Difficult Task Replacing Schwarber

It’s tough to characterize the Nationals’ lineup at the moment. It had been carried by Kyle Schwarber since the beginning of May, but he’s expected to miss significant time after suffering a hamstring injury in Friday’s game.

Since May 9, Schwarber has 23 home runs and 46 RBIs, along with a 1.051 OPS in 50 games. More recently, he had 16 home runs in his previous 21 outings, racking up a .974 slugging percentage in that stretch. Washington went 15-6 during that span and got within striking distance of the New York Mets in the National League East.

As a team, Washington’s OPS entering Saturday over the previous 15 days ranked second in MLB at .867, trailing only the Toronto Blue Jays.

Fortunately for the Nationals, Trea Turner (1.285 OPS), Josh Bell (.943), Starlin Castro (.945) and Juan Soto (.924) have all been thriving over the past two weeks as well. Losing their biggest bat will no doubt be a blow, but the rest of the lineup is capable of picking up the slack.

Soto, in particular, is due for a power surge. His slugging percentage this season was .438 entering Saturday, well below his .536 career mark. The batting average and on-base numbers are still there, so it’s reasonable to expect Soto to start driving in runs eventually.

On the mound, Joe Ross has been solid through 15 starts, having thrown 80 2/3 innings with a 4.02 ERA and 4.29 xFIP. Given the injuries suffered by Stephen Strasburg this season, Ross’ stability has been hugely important.

Ross’ strikeouts per nine innings and BABIP are the best of his career. He missed all of 2020 due to injury and was out of the Nationals’ rotation in 2019 due to a lack of strong performances. Now, he’s back to looking like the pitcher he was back in 2015-16, one Washington can depend on every five days.

Dodgers-Nationals Pick

This is a tough one to handicap given the lack of an announced Los Angeles starter, but I have enough faith in its bullpen that I’m going to back the club to stay hot and seal a series sweep.

Losing Schwarber is a huge blow for Washington, even if there are plenty of other capable bats in the lineup. I don’t trust Ross against whatever strong lineup the Dodgers will put out as much as I trust Los Angeles relievers to pitch well for an inning or two at a time.

Keep an eye out for any news Sunday morning, but given the fact Los Angeles covered the run line in the first three games of this series and seven of the eight games during their winning streak, the current -141 odds are way too good to be true for Los Angeles.

Look to bet the run line at anything better than +130 odds as well.

Pick: Dodgers ML (-141)

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