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The Los Angeles Dodgers will look to add another win on Wednesday night when they take on the Washington Nationals. Can Shohei Ohtani and the Dodgers get off to a hot start in D.C.? Joey Ruiz provides his best betting pick in Dodgers vs. Nationals.
ANALYSIS

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals Prediction: Can Shohei Ohtani, Dodgers Start Fast Against Nats?

For whatever reason, the Dodgers have struggled to put runs on the board against Washington this season. They were shutout by the Nats 2-0 in their series in LA last week, and then barely escaped with a win last night as they only totaled four runs and only had one until the 8th inning. Can the Dodgers get the bats going early tonight? Let's break it down.

Dodgers vs. Nationals DATE, TIME, AND WHERE TO WATCH

  • Date: April 24, 2024
  • Start Time: 6:45 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: MLB Extra Innings

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals Prediction

Coming into the season, there was a ton of hype about the Dodgers and rightfully so, as they landed the best player in the league in Shohei Ohtani in free agency. Ohtani has been nothing short of spectacular with the bat as he is first in the league in many offensive categories, and looks like a potential MVP candidate again.

The Dodgers have a three headed monster in the middle of the lineup with Betts, Ohtani, and Freeman, who will all likely cement their spot in Cooperstown one day, and also have nice pieces to surround them in Will Smith, Max Muncy, and Teoscar Hernandez who are all very capable of doing damage in their own right.

Though their lineup is rather stacked, it has been an inauspicious start for the Dodgers as they are just 14-11 on the season. To put that in perspective, the Tigers and the Cubs currently have better records than LAD, who has three hall of famers in the middle of their lineup.

Their struggles have been caused by a lack of depth in their starting rotation as their starters have not been going deep into games, which has in turn taxed their bullpen. Starting for the Dodgers tonight will be Landon Knack who is making his second career start. His first career start also came against Washington last week and he actually fared quite well, as he tossed five innings while only allowing two earned runs, four hits, and a walk while striking out four.

He unfortunately took the loss in that game as the Dodgers fell 2-0 as they were stifled by Jake Irvin, who coincidentally is also making the start against the Dodgers again tonight, so we have the exact same pitching matchup of when these two teams met last Wednesday on 4/17. Irvin is a relatively young pitcher as well who benefited from seeing the Dodgers hitters for the first time as they just could not figure him out. Irvin tossed six shutout innings and only allowed four hits while striking out six in what was likely the best start of his career. While Irvin could be poised to become a solid starting pitcher, I do think this is a prime regression spot for him.

The Dodgers have now seen him and have gotten multiple at bats under their belt against Irvin which should improve their approach against him tonight. Knack got off to a slow start last week against Washington as he gave up a homer to the first batter he faced in the big leagues and allowed two earned in the first inning, before settling in nicely with four additional shutout innings. This Dodgers lineup is simply too talented and too dangerous to keep down for long, and I foresee them having a breakout type game against Irvin.

Another thing I have noticed when teams play these home and home series back-to-back is that when there is the same pitching matchup again, it tends to flip flop the other way. Irvin and the Nationals got the best of the Dodgers in that first meeting and in that series as the Nats took two out of three, and I think this matchup will flip in the way of Knack and the Dodgers as I believe he will get his revenge with an even stronger performance tonight. With that being said, I am rolling with Dodgers F5 ML at -145 odds for two units as my most confident MLB play of the day for tonight's action, as I foresee the Dodgers bats' coming alive early and often with a second look at Jake Irvin, and think they take a lead into the latter innings tonight.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals Prediction

Pick: Dodgers F5 ML -145 Click here to see which sportsbook has the best odds

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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