The second half of the MLB season in the National League gets underway in Washington, where a pair of second-place teams face off as the Nationals host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game set. The Dodgers begin the second half of the campaign 2.5 games behind Arizona in the West, while the Nationals trail Atlanta by six games in the East. When it comes to the wild card, the Nationals are behind Pittsburgh and Cincinnati by five games, while the Dodgers are hot on their heels at 5.5 games back.
The Dodgers have won seven of the last 10 MLB betting matchups with Washington, including two of three in Los Angeles in May.
Ricky Nolasco (6-9., 3.76) vs. Stephen Strasburg (5-7, 2.99) – Friday, 7:05 PM ET
Odds: Nationals -158
Nolasco has faced the Nationals plenty of times from his time in Miami, and a loss earlier this season took his career mark against Washington to 11-7 in 22 games (20 starts) with a 3.66 ERA. On the road, Nolasco has been solid, going 3-3 in 10 starts with a 2.98 ERA, and in Washington, he is 4-2 in seven starts with a 2.32 ERA. Strasburg has never had a decision in two starts against the Dodgers despite a brilliant 0.75 ERA, and at home in 2013, he is 4-3 in nine starts while posting a 1.65 ERA.
Zack Greinke (8-2, 3.49) vs. Gio Gonzalez (7-3, 3.03) – Saturday, 7:05 PM ET
Greinke has beaten the Nationals in all three of his previous meetings with the NL East club, including one in 2013, posting a 1.86 ERA. He has also gone two straight starts without allowing an earned run, and away from home this season, Greinke is 3-2 in seven starts despite a 5.02 ERA. Gonzalez, who has won four consecutive decisions, is out to avenge a loss to the Dodgers in his lone meeting with them, but at home, he is 4-2 in nine starts this season with a 3.23 ERA.
Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 1.98) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (12-4, 2.58) – Sunday, 1:35 PM ET
Kershaw sounded slighted that he wasn’t chosen as the NL starter at the All-Star game despite the Mets’ Matt Harvey having the chance to do it in front of his home fans, but that could bode well for the Dodgers in the second half. The reigning Cy Young winner has beaten the Nationals this season, taking his line against them to 4-2 in eight games (seven starts) with a 3.27 ERA. On the road, Kershaw has a fantastic 2.20 ERA, but is only 3-2 in nine starts. Zimmermann was also at the All-Star game with the National League, and he is now 2-0 in three starts against the Dodgers with a 4.12 ERA after an earlier win. He has been lights out at home as Zimmermann is 9-0 in 11 starts with a 1.75 ERA, and with Kershaw on the other side for the Dodgers, this has the potential to be the best baseball betting matchup of the weekend.