The Nats are pinning their hopes on Jordan Zimmermann to avoid a sweep at the hands of their NL East rivals the New York Mets. But let's look inside the MLB odds to find which side to back.
Washington Nationals (54-48, -2.8 units)
Since the Nationals embarked on a 10-game road trip they have gone 3-6 and have averaged only 3.33 runs per game. If we set aside two of the three victories during this span in which they scored a total of 16 runs that average plummets to exactly two runs per contest. Clearly Washington's offense needs to rejuvenate if they are to keep pace in tonight's marquee matchup.
If the Nats are to have any chance they will need a routinely strong pitching performance from ace Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 3.36 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). Pitching has been the Nationals strong suit as expected but their bats have been cool throughout the season. Zimmermann has owned the Metropolitans over his last seven starts garnering a 5-0 record with a 2.70 ERA. All seven starts have resulted in Washington victories.
New York Mets (54-50, +3.8 units)
New York has won five of its last seven contests and trails the Nationals in the NL East by only one game. Noah Snydergaard (5-5, 2.70 ERA, 1.07) is a 6'6" rookie right-hander that has come out of the blue to dominate for the Mets. As the season has worn on Snydergaard has gotten better every step of the way. He takes a 3-1 record complemented by a 1.29 ERA over his last six starts into tonight's affair. As if that wasn't impressive enough the home cookin' at Citi Field has tasted mighty fine as the 22-year-old has compiled a 3-0 mark and a 0.90 ERA while averaging over 11 strikeouts per nine innings over his last four outings.
As tremendous as the pitching has been for New York their hitting has been abysmal this season. They are ranked dead last in runs scored with 368 on the season and have the lowest batting average at .234. First baseman Lucas Duda has led the offense with 20 dingers and 48 RBI's while veteran Curtis Granderson leads the team in hits with 97 and 16 long shots of his own. The rest of the offense will need to chip in if the Mets are able to eke out runs against one of the best in the business in Jordan Zimmermann.
This MLB odds total is understandably low as virtually all of the major offshore sportsbooks are hanging a 6 ½ on this contest between two premier pitchers and a pair of offenses that scare no one. I'm not sure if I could say it any better which is why I am confident this one will go low. In addition, five of six games played at Citi Field between these two clubs have gone under the MLB odds posted total this season.
However, that is not the end of the line for me on this one as I am also backing Jordan Zimmermann because the Mets have not swept the Nats since 2009 because they simply don't have the offense to contend with his pitching. That contention is bolstered by Zimmermann's domination of New York over his last seven starts and the fact that Washington is 16-6 (+8.1 units) when he takes the hill against the Mets.
Therefore, in summary I would suggest you get over to Pinnacle and play under the total and then shop on over to Heritage that is offering the most generous price on this small underdog where Washington +114 is currently being offered.