Game of the Day: Nationals vs. Dodgers

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Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers
(197,
6)

After turning Dodger Stadium into their own launching pad in
the series opener, the Washington Nationals face a tougher test
Tuesday against Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw. The Nationals
have blasted 14 home runs over their last four games, including
four in Monday’s 6-4 victory that pushed their lead over
Atlanta in the National League East to seven games. Leadoff
hitter Dee Gordon is mired in a 0-for-18 slump for Los Angeles,
whose lead over San Francisco is down to two games.

Gordon isn’t the only player struggling for the Dodgers, who
moved outfielder Yasiel Puig to sixth in the batting order
Monday. Puig went 0-for-3 and has two hits in his last 30
at-bats for Los Angeles, who added an extra player to their
crowded outfield Monday with the promotion of top prospect Joc
Pederson from Triple-A Albuquerque. Washington center fielder
Denard Span is hitless in five career at-bats against Kershaw,
but enters the contest with three home runs in his last five
games.

TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, MASN2 (Washington),
SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)

LINE HISTORY: The Dodgers opened as -200 home
favorites and now sits at -197. The total is currently at 6.0.

INJURY REPORT: Nationals: 3B Ryan Zimmerman –
out (hamstring). Dodgers: N/A.

WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Nationals have actually
pulled away in the NL East, while the Dodgers are now fighting
to hold off the Giants in the NL West. This is a more important
game for the Dodgers for that reason. They will have their ace
on the mound tonight and Clayton Kershaw is having one of the
best seasons in recent history for a starting pitcher with an
incredible 1.73 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.  He is well on his way
to easily winning another Cy Young Award.” – Covers Expert
Steve Merril
.

WAG WAR: Dodgers OF Carl Crawford’s girlfriend
Evelyn Lozada and Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez’s girlfriend
Berenice Lea Moures.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Doug Fister
(12-5, 2.55 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 1.73)

Fister suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this
season Wednesday as he allowed five runs (four earned) on a
season-high 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings against Philadelphia.
The former Fresno State star has yielded four home runs over
his last two starts after allowing 11 in his first 18 outings.
Fister, who is making his first career start against Los
Angeles, owns a 2.15 ERA over the past three
September/Octobers.

Kershaw has recorded at least 10 strikeouts in three
consecutive starts, including Wednesday when he held Arizona to
one unearned run over eight innings. The two-time Cy Young
award winner has pitched at least seven innings and allowed
three runs or fewer while striking out at least six batters in
13 consecutive starts. Kershaw is 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 10
career games (nine starts) against the Nationals, including
seven shutout innings May 6.

TWEET BEAT:

TRENDS:

* Dodgers are 4-0 in Kershaw’s last four starts versus the
Nationals.
* Nationals are 6-20 in the last 26 meetings in Los
Angeles.
* Under is 7-0 in Kershaw’s last seven starts following five
days of rest.
* Over is 5-0 in Fister’s last five starts overall.

COVERS CONSENSUS:
Almost 58 percent of the wagers are
on the Dodgers at -197.

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