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MLB odds: Nationals vs. Padres prediction, odds, pick, and more – 7/5/2021

The Washington Nationals will travel to the West Coast to take on the San Diego Padres in the opening showdown of a four-game series. Both squads are coming off of series losses, with the Nationals being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Padres dropping two of three games to the Philadelphia Phillies. Both of these teams are fighting for playoff spots in their respective divisions, making this series an important one. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Nationals-Padres prediction and pick.

Before we get into the pick, let’s see how the bookmakers have set the lines for Monday night’s game.

MLB Odds: Nationals-Padres Odds

Washington Nationals ML (+185)

San Diego Padres ML (-214)

Over 8 runs (+100)

Under 8 runs (-120)

Why The Nationals Could Cover The Spread

The Nationals were just swept by one of the best teams in baseball, but there’s good reason to believe that they can rebound.

The offense has looked decent in the last eight games for Washington, putting up more than four runs five times in that span. Washington will look to continue that streak of decent offense against San Diego starter Joe Musgrove.

Musgrove has been great this season, but the San Diego bullpen has shown some weakness. If the Washington hitters can show good discipline and run up Musgrove’s pitch count early, they may be able to score a couple of cheap runs against some of the weaker relief arms.

Why The Padres Could Cover The Spread

There’s a reason the part of this article detailing why the Nationals can cover the spread is so short. The Padres have pretty much every advantage in this contest, starting on the mound.

Washington originally announced that Jon Lester would make the start on Monday, but that has since changed. The Nationals haven’t announced a starter yet, making it fairly likely that we’ll see a bullpen game. The Washington pen has been shaky all year, so asking them to pitch nine innings against one of the best offenses in the MLB is a recipe for disaster. San Diego should put up tons of runs in this one.

Unfortunately for the Nationals, Joe Musgrove won’t be giving up tons of runs Monday night. He’s been fantastic all year long and I don’t expect that to change against a team that is missing their star shortstop in Trea Turner and their starting catcher in Yan Gomes, never mind slugger Kyle Schwarber as well. To make matters even better for Musgrove, the Nationals struggle against right-handed pitching. They also struggle offensively when they’re playing on the road. Washington will have to contend with both shortcomings as they face a dominant righty on the other side of the country in Monday night’s game.

Final Nationals-Padres Prediction & Pick

With so much uncertainty surrounding the Nationals’ pitching situation, it’s impossible to pick them. The money line is also too steep to place a profitable bet on the Padres, and the confusion around the Washington starter means that the run lines haven’t been released at the time this article is being written. That means I’ll take the over, as it seems like the best bet on the board. San Diego should carry the majority of the heavy lifting, but I do expect a couple runs from the Nationals to help push the total above eight runs scored.

FINAL PICK: Over 8 runs (+100)