Dodgers have the best record in the majors and open a 4-game series with the Nationals

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The Los Angeles Dodgers open a four-game home stand against the Washington National tonight after sweeping the Atlanta Braves. On their California road trip the Dodgers lost two to the San Francisco Giants and then won two of three in Petco Park against the San Diego Padres before returning to Dodger Stadium Monday.

The Dodgers will be missing outfielder AJ Pollock due to injury. Alex Verdugo has been doing a great job this season.

Their series against the Braves was a rematch of the National League Divisional Series the two teams played in October of last year. The sweep put Atlanta well behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the N.L. East and increased L.A.’s lead over Arizona and San Diego in the N.L. West. They also have the best record in the Majors.

Right now the Dodgers are playing better than they did last year at time time. 

Bryce Harper at last year’s MLB All-Star Game Home Run Derby, which he won

The Washington Nationals are having a very disappointing season. Their second year manager, Dave Martinez, is pulling a heavy load up a steep cliff. With a team-size disabled list and a questionable pitching staff, making the playoffs might be just a dream for them this season.

And they no longer have Bryce Harper. It’s hard to be consistent without that MVP, perennial All-Star anchoring the line up.

They do have some great hitters though; former Dodger Howie Kendrick, Adam Eaton, Victor Robles, and Brian Dozier, who has had a slow start. If he gets going we could see the season get better for Martinez. 

Even if the Nationals get the best of the Dodgers’ starters, they have to worry about what the Dodger bats will do to their entire pitching staff.

In their last 10 games the Nationals put up 27 runs. In their last 10 games the Dodgers have put up 59.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw after the win against the Braves

In the Dodgers Wednesday Night outing against the Braves Clayton Kershaw went 6.2 innings (100 pitches) giving up four home runs. The L.A. bullpen shut down the Braves after that. The Dodgers took the Atlanta starter, Mike Foltynewicz, for five runs that included two home runs. The L.A. bats tagged the Braves bullpen for another four runs. The final score was 9-4.

Like any other team in the major leagues, the Dodgers are beatable. The Nationals have a line up that can, on certain nights, push a lot of runs across the plate. Their starting pitcher tonight, Patrick Corbin (3.71) has had good and very good outings this season. If he gets good run support from his teammates, they have a very good chance of winning.

Rich Hill (3.60) is starting for Los Angeles. He hasn’t had a decision yet this season and his last outing, against the San Diego Padres, he only pitched four innings, giving up seven hits and three runs. The Dodgers won that game, but if the Nationals are going to take one at Dodger Stadium, tonight could be a good chance to do it. After that they are scheduled to face Kenta Maeda (4.66), Walker Buehler (4.95) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (2.03).

Below are some video reports by Claudia Gestro

Photos by Claudia Gestro