When: 10:10 EST
The Starters: Detwiler (2-0, 0.56 era) vs. Kershaw (1-0, 1.61)
The Line: Dodgers -190, Nats +170, O/U 6 Runs, Dodgers -1.5
After failing to complete yet another sweep last night, the Nationals will move on to face the 13-6 Dodgers. The series opener will be a battle of two southpaws who are off to hot starts this season. The Nats will send Ross Detwiler to the mound coming off his best start of the year against Miami where he went 6 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits while striking out 7. Detwiler has been dominant in his 3 starts so far this season giving up just one earned run combined, but he hasen’t been able to get very deep into games yet this year, never pitching past the sixth. I think Detwiler cools off a bit tonight against a pretty solid Dodger lineup. The Dodgers will counter with the by sending the reigning Cy Young award winner to the bump in Clayton Kershaw. He has been great so far this year to no ones surprise, and is coming off his best start of the young season (7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 9 K, 2 BB). I picked Clayton to win the Cy Young again this so clearly i’m confident in his skills, I would be shocked if he doesn’t dominate tonight. I’m a big Detwiler fan and love what he’s been able to do so far this year but Kershaw gets the advantage tonight. Looking at the lineups, the Nat’s is really struggling. Last night they put together just 4 hits and 1 run off a pitcher in Edinson Volquez who is usually pretty hittable. They will get a boost tomorrow (Saturday) when Bryce Harper makes his major league debut but even then they will still be without their best two hitters in 2011 (Morse, Zimmerman). The Dodger lineup is only near the middle of the league in most offensive categories, but they have the best hitter in baseball in Matt Kemp and another really good one in Andre Ethier. My MVP pick (Matt Kemp) leads the majors in the triple crown categories right now and Ethier is 2nd in RBIs. Los Angeles has a higher Avg., OBP, OPS, than Washington and has hit more homeruns, so right now they get the advantage. I’ve been high on the Nationals pen all year but now with Clippard struggling with his command and Storen still out, i’m slightly less bullish on them. But with that said their back end trio of Rodriguez, Stammen, and Burnett is one of the best in baseball. For the Dodgers, Josh Lindblom has been great but beyond that none of their relievers have been much better than mediocre. Washington gets the advantage in the bullpen. In the end I think this game comes down to Clayton Kershaw being dominant and the National’s lineup being no match for him right now, the Dodgers take game 1.
Prediction: Dodgers 4, Nationals 1
Key Players (Stat Prediction): Detwiler (5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 K, 2 BB), LaRoche (1-3, HR), Kershaw (8 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 9 K, 1 BB), Kemp (2-3, HR, 2 RBI, SB)
Jesse’s Picks W/L: 12 – 7
Jesse’s Picks ATS: 10 – 8