The Washington Nationals are looking to avoid the sweep in the series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s time to kick off our MLB odds series and make a Nationals-Dodgers prediction and pick.

The Dodgers pulled off a resounding 9-3 victory against Washington yesterday to clinch this three-game series. We will get an exciting battle of the aces in this third and final game as Max Scherzer gets set to take on Clayton Kershaw.

Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Nationals-Dodgers odds.

MLB Odds: Nationals-Dodgers Odds

Washington Nationals +1.5 (-140)

Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (+120)

Over 7.5 Runs (+100)

Under 7.5 Runs (-120)

Why The Nationals Could Cover The Spread

The Washington Nationals were absolutely destroyed in a 9-5 defeat on Saturday following a tough 1-0 loss in the series opener. Patrick Corbin had a disappointing start for the Nats in Game 2, allowing six earned runs in 4.1 innings of work. The 2019 World Series champions will hope to get the struggling bats going against the defending champs in the series finale.

The Nationals have to be licking their chops at the opportunity to get after Clayton Kershaw once again. The last time they saw the left-hander was in the 2019 NLDS. They beat Kershaw in Game 2 of that series and got him again with two home runs in the top of the eighth inning in the deciding fifth game. Juan Soto has gotten off to another great start this season, hitting .375 with two long-balls. Trea Turner has also shown flashes of added power with two homers of his own.

Mad Max Scherzer will look to have a bounce-back performance in his second start of 2021. Scherzer gave up four earned runs in six innings of work in his first start against the Atlanta Braves. He did strike out nine with no walks, which was a promising sight for the right-hander. He is 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts against LA since joining the Nats. All three career wins have happened to come at Dodger Stadium, too.

Why The Dodgers Could Cover The Spread

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already clinched their third-straight series victory of the 2021 campaign. The defending champs will look to complete their first series sweep of the young season, though. Clayton Kershaw will get the opportunity to take it home against a Nationals lineup that has struggled to do much of anything this far.

The Dodgers’ offense has been absolutely monstrous to start the season. The team is slashing a staggering .295/.392/.474. They are a top-five team in runs scored, hits, and walks coming into this game. Los Angeles is averaging six runs per game and has a combined 10 runs in the first two games of this series.

It is always a great sign for the Dodgers when they see their ace on the bump. Clayton Kershaw is currently 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 2021. He is coming off of an impressive seven-inning effort against Oakland in his last start. Kershaw allowed just four hits and one earned run against the Athletics. Clayton has a nice matchup against a Nats lineup that has struggled to do anything against Dodgers pitching, especially in this series.

Final Nationals-Dodgers Prediction & Pick

I could very well see this series finale being a pitcher’s duel between two of the best arms in baseball. The under is a good play in a game that features one of the worst lineups in the league right now. Washington’s offense is struggling to do anything and has shown no signs of life in this series. Clayton Kershaw is coming off of a great outing and will certainly look to build on it in the finale. Max Scherzer has had a ton of success against the Dodgers in recent history and knows what it will take to come away with a victory. No Mookie Betts or Cody Bellinger certainly helps our cause.

FINAL PICK: Under 7.5 Runs (-120)