Nationals The Savvy MLB Pick In Bounce Back Game vs. Mets

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 2:05 PM GMT

The Nationals have lost three straight and will try to snap out of their funk in the second game of a four-game set with the Mets. Let’s review the MLB odds and cash a ticket tonight.

2016 MLB Record: 20-11, +8.71 units

Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets

Washington Nationals (23-16, +2.3 units)
The Nats' bats have suddenly fallen silent during their three-game losing skein, generating only two runs over those three contests. They now have three teams nipping at their heels for the top spot in the NL East and must produce at the plate if they want to begin to win again. Last night they fell 2-0 to the Mets in the opener of their four-game series with New York and it was their All-Star ace Max Scherzer taking the loss after a stunning 20 strikeout performance in his previous outing against the Tigers. A pair of home runs against the 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner was all it took to seal the Nationals' fate last night as the team was shutout and held to five hits on the evening.

Washington will send southpaw Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.93 ERA) to the hill where he is 9-4 over his career versus the Mets with an ERA of 2.66 and a WHIP of 1.125. In his last performance Gonzalez was installed as a -165 favorite by the MLB odds makers and allowed two runs (none earned) in the Nationals' 5-3 win over the Marlins on Friday night. The No. 2 man in the Washington rotation boasts a 2-1 record with a sterling 1.93 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP on the season.

New York Mets (22-16, -0.9 units)
The Mets had lost four consecutive games prior to last night's 2-0 victory over the Nationals but got another stellar performance from their promising superstar Noah Syndergaard. Solo shots by Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto off Washington's Max Scherzer was all the offense the Mets needed to snap their four-game funk. New York comes into this contest in the bottom third of all teams in runs scored, team batting and on base percentage. Surprisingly, in light of those disappointing offensive results, they have the 8th best slugging percentage in the majors.

The ageless Bartolo Colon (3-2, 3.53 ERA) will get the nod tonight and hope to improve upon his last outing when he surrendered five earned runs at Dodger Stadium en route to a 5-0 defeat on Thursday. Colon made headlines in his previous outing when he smacked the first dinger of his career against San Diego and pitched six plus innings in a 6-3 Mets victory. Colon is 3-5 when starting against the Nats over his career with an ERA of 3.23 and a WHIP of 1.170. His team's record is 3-5 (-2.2 units) in these starts.

Betting Analysis
While it is never wise to underestimate Bartolo Colon, I often do. The man is old, out of shape and gets more than his fair share of lucky bounces and breaks. He's like your jolly uncle who can still spin a nasty curve every now and again. But the cracks in the armor began in his last outing against Los Angeles and it is time for the Washington offense to snap out of their recent malaise. Though the Nats are not considerably better offensively than their opponents today, they do have arguably the best player in baseball in Bryce Harper.

Gio Gonzalez has been nasty on the mound thus far and has posted impressive numbers at Citi Field with a 1.54 ERA in his 11 career starts. Washington is 14-7 (+7.0 Units) against the Mets in New York over the last three seasons and with a pitcher like Gio Gonzalez chucking, they are a lock in my MLB picks for tonight.

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Free MLB Pick: Washington Nationals -104
Best Line Offered: at Heritage