Mon, Oct 14, 2019

On Sunday night in D.C., the Dodgers thumped the Nationals in Game 3 of the NLDS by a score of 10-4, and that means L.A. can punch its ticket to the NLCS with a win in Game 4. As for the Nats, they’re on the brink of elimination. 

Now let’s set the scene with some essentials for Game 4 of the NLDS. 

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How to watch

Date: Monday, Oct. 7 | Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.)
TV: TBS | StreamfuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: N/A
Starting pitchers: Rich Hill (LAD) vs. Max Scherzer (WAS)
Follow: CBS Sports App 

Preview

The Nationals will turn to ace Max Scherzer to extend their season and force a Game 5 back at Dodger Stadium. During the regular season, Scherzer was pretty much in vintage form, and he’s likely headed for a top-three finish in the NL Cy Young balloting. Going into Game 4, he’s not quite on his usual schedule. He made the start against the Brewers in the NL Wild Card Game, but didn’t enjoy his typical results. A mere three days later, he threw one inning of high-leverage relief in Game 2 against the Dodgers. Scherzer said he was willing and able to start Game 3, but manager Davey Martinez went with Anibal Sanchez instead. Now Scherzer, with an additional day of rest, will get the ball against the NL’s best offense. 

Scherzer previously took the mound against the Dodgers back on May 11. In that road start, he allowed two runs in seven innings while striking out seven and walking two. The Nationals won that game, 5-2. 

For L.A., veteran soft-tosser Rich Hill gets the call. The 39-year-old lefty had a strong 2.45 ERA and 4.00 K/BB ratio during the regular season, albeit across just 13 starts. He’s also not a “go deep” kind of pitcher, as he averaged just 4.5 innings per start during the regular season. Obviously, that won’t change now, so it figures to be a heavy bullpen night for the Dodgers. Also of note is that the Nationals this season were somewhat more potent against left-handed pitching than they were against righties. 

Prediction

We’ll lean Scherzer and the Nationals at home — mostly because of Scherzer. This series is going back to L.A. for a decisive Game 5 on Wednesday.

Pick: Nationals 4, Dodgers 2

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