MLB Odds & Picks for Nationals vs. Dodgers: Will Washington’s Woes Be Extended?

MLB Odds & Picks for Nationals vs. Dodgers: Will Washington’s Woes Be Extended? article feature image

Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Gonsolin.

  • The Dodgers are heavy home favorites on Monday against the Nationals, as L.A. looks to continue its red-hot month of July.
  • The Dodgers will start Tony Gonsolin while the Nationals will counter with Paolo Espino.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Nationals vs. Dodgers Odds

Nationals Odds+250
Dodgers Odds-315
Over/Under8.5 (-105/-115)
Time10:10 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

An already-lopsided matchup will get considerably more lopsided on Monday night thanks to the pitchers involved.

The indomitable Tony Gonsolin will take the ball for the Dodgers opposite the volatile Paolo Espino, and judging by the current line it's no surprise what's about to happen. Can we still find some value here? Let's take a look.

Nationals Looking for Momentum

For the month of July, the Nats are now 28th in wRC+. It's hard to find a ton to get excited about if you're a Nats fan, but they're only striking out in 19.4% of plate appearances and have a solid eight percent Walk Rate. However, Washington ranks near the bottom of the league in Hard-Hit Rate and Barrel Rate and 10th in Ground Ball Rate during the same time.

That's caused the Nationals to fall on hard times. Amidst chatter that they'll trade superstar Juan Soto, the team has now lost 17 of the last 20 games. During that span, they have scored the second-fewest runs in the league and have pitched to a 5.56 ERA — also the second-worst in baseball.

Espino has had a July to forget. After posting a 3.38 ERA in seven outings — four of which were starts — the right-hander has registered a 6.23 ERA in three starts this month. His transition into rotation starter went easily enough against the Marlins, Brewers and Phillies, but recent starts against the Rangers, Pirates and Braves haven't gone as well. The biggest issue has been homers; he's allowed eight dingers in his seven starts and four in his last three.

Dodgers Hoping to Stay on Fire

The Dodgers have had a wonderful month of July. They are 17-2 in their 19 games with 108 runs scored and just 58 against them, and to no one's surprise, they rank second in the league in wRC+. The strikeouts that had given them issues are no longer; L.A. is back down to punching out in 20.7% of plate appearances this month while boasting a solid 10.4% Walk Rate.

Gonsolin will toe the slab for the Dodgers, and he's been absolutely brilliant this season save for his last start against the Cardinals. He yielded five runs on seven hits in St. Louis, though he did strike out six over five frames.

Gonsolin's Strikeout Rate is still firmly above league average at 24.2%, though that number is down from 27.2% last season and has been a product of fleeting performances in the punchout department. Still, Gonsolin sits in the top 30% of the league in Whiff Rate on top of pitching to a .212 Expected Batting Average and 6.2% Barrel Rate.

Nationals-Dodgers Pick

Gonsolin is simply a nightmare matchup for the Nationals. He's has itched well to contact with a 42.8% Ground Ball Rate this year while retaining the ability to miss bats at a high rate.

With that, I'm not quite sure how the Nationals score runs here, particularly with one of the best bullpens in baseball behind Gonsolin.

The Dodgers have taken three of their last five games under the total now, and with some solid pitching, this one should find itself to be a low-scoring game as well.

Pick: Under 8.5 (-115)

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