The Washington Nationals (14-5) and Los Angeles Dodgers (13-6) will open up a three-game National League series on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:10 ET

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers 

Los Angeles Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw is off to a solid start after winning the 2011 NL Cy Young Award

Washington continues a six-game West Coast swing after taking two of three against the San Diego Padres, but dropped a 2-1 decision in the series finale on Thursday night.  The Nationals are definitely one of the bigger stories in baseball sitting atop the NL East standings, as the starting rotation has allowed just a single run over its past 34.2 innings of work.  The club will certainly be tested against tonight’s opponent, considering the franchise is 5-15 at Dodger Stadium since relocating from Montreal in 2005.  Washington is 3-0 versus left-handed starters this year, with the “under” cashing in all three of those contests.

Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (2-0, 0.56 ERA) will be making his fourth start of the young season, coming off a 2-0 home win over the Miami Marlins, tossing six shutout innings and allowing just three hits.  The left-hander earned a 6-2 victory over the New York Mets in his only road outing of the year on April 10, throwing five scoreless frames and scattering two hits.  In two career games (one start) against the Dodgers, Detwiler has yet to record a decision, allowing three runs and seven hits over 8.1 innings (3.24 ERA).

Los Angeles managed to score just five combined runs in losing its last two home games against the Atlanta Braves, as the club hopes its talented outfield duo of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp can remain hot.  Dodgers’ fans have watched both players combine for 14 home runs and 45 RBIs in the first 19 games of the campaign.  The club has captured four of six series to this point, with all four wins coming against teams that finished with a losing record in 2011, which fits the bill here.  Los Angeles is 5-3 against left-handed starters and the “under” is 4-3-1 in those contests.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 1.61 ERA) is set to make his fifth start of the year after winning the NL Cy Young Award in 2011.  The left-hander has led the club to four wins already, including a 5-1 road victory over the Houston Astros last time out, tossing seven shutout frames and allowing three hits.  He has issued just six walks and struck out 22 batters in 22.1 combined frames.  In six lifetime appearances (five starts) versus the Nationals, Kershaw is 2-2 with a 4.61 ERA, but didn’t face them last year.

Bettors will likely back the Dodgers due to their 7-1 record following an off day, while the Nationals are 3-10 in Detwiler’s last 13 starts as a road underdog.

Recommendation: Los Angeles Dodgers -185

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