Dodgers v Nationals
Pitchers’ duel alert: When the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Washington Nationals on Friday runs should be hard to come by. The Dodgers go with reigning National League Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw, who has continued to dazzle this season with a 1.61 ERA over 22 1/3 innings. He’s also struck out about a batter per inning pitched. A lefty like Kershaw is not what Washington likes to see. They have faced a left-handed starting pitcher three times this year and have been ineffective, batting a meager .198 and scoring a combined eight runs. As for the Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler, he’s been every bit as spectacular as Kershaw in 2012. The left-hander has posted a 2-0 record and a 0.56 ERA over three starts. As is the case with Washington, Los Angeles hasn’t fared as well against lefty starters as righties. It’s also worth noting that Dodger Stadium is historically a pitcher friendly ballpark. All of this points to a low scoring result. Look to go under 6 runs at 1.95, instead of the over at 1.85.
Phillies v Cubs
For the conservative among us, there is a nice mismatch in Philadelphia where the Chicago Cubs visit the Philadelphia Phillies. While the Phillies have been a disappointment in the early part of this season, their ace pitcher Roy Halladay has not been part of the problem. He’s 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA. Since joining Philadelphia in 2010, Halladay has been particularly effective at home, fashioning a 21-8 record at Citizens Bank Park during that time. The Cubs hurler Paul Maholm has been mediocre against the Phillies in his career (3-2 with a 4.50 ERA). Neither team has put up great numbers at bat, but the Phillies have played marginally better at home than on the road, while the Cubs are just the opposite. Expect Philadelphia to get the victory in this one. Take the lesser odds and pick the Phillies at 1.35 over the Cubs at 3.20.