This handicapper split two picks on the second game of this four-game series Friday night, as Washington got beat, but the game stayed UNDER. What have we got cooked up for Saturday's Game 3?
Sunday's Game 4
By: Ron Patrick
Nats-Mets Game 4 Betting Odds
Sunday's MLB odds market opened this series finale, which matches New York's Dillon Gee against Washington's Doug Fister, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of seven runs.
Game 3 Recap
Washington scored the only run of the game on an infield single in the second inning, and Gio Gonzalez out-dueled Jon Niese in a 1-0 Nationals victory. Washington won as a -125 favorite Saturday, and the game never approached its total of seven runs.
The Nationals have now won four of their last five games, while the Mets have lost six of their last nine.
Gonzalez gave up six hits and zero runs through seven innings Saturday, with two walks and nine strikeouts, while Niese gave up one run and nine hits through seven innings, with one walk and five whiffs.
Washington OF Denard Span sat out Friday and Saturday's games with soreness, but could return to the lineup today.
Keep in mind before placing your MLB picks that Gee is two-for-four on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last Monday he held Miami to one run and six hits through 7 2/3 innings, and just before that he limited Atlanta to two runs through seven innings. Those came as welcome performances, after Gee had allowed nine runs through his first two starts of this season.
On the season Gee has given up 12 runs and 30 base-runners (hits + walks) through 25 1/3 innings. New York is 3-1 in Gee's starts, with the totals going 2-2.
Gee started four times against Washington last season, allowing 15 runs and 26 hits through 23 innings. The Mets split those four games.
Fister is two-for-four on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last two. Last Monday he gave up five runs – four earned – and 10 hits through 5 2/3 innings against Atlanta, and just before that he gave up five runs – four earned – in six innings against St. Louis. On the season Fister has allowed nine ER and 36 base-runners through 24 2/3 innings. Washington is 1-3 in Fister's starts, and three of his starts have played OVER.
Fister started three times against the Mets last year, and was tough, giving up just four runs – two earned – and 18 hits through 20 1/3 innings. The Nats won all three of those games.
Nats-Mets Game 4 Picks
Span provided the Washington lineup with a spark when he came off the DL a couple of weeks ago, and in hoping he plays today we'll go with the Nationals. Also, Gee has been tough his last couple of times out, while Fister was tough on the Mets last year. So we're thinking runs might be hard to come by Sunday.
Free MLB Picks: Washington -101 at 5Dimes and UNDER 7.5 runs (-120) at WagerWeb
Saturday's Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
Nats-Mets Game 3 Betting Odds
Most MLB odds opened Saturday's game, which matches New York's Jon Niese against Washington's Gio Gonzalez, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of seven runs. In the early betting many shops then moved the Nationals into favorites of around -125.
Game 2 Recap
New York got this series to even with a 4-0 victory Friday night, winning as a -115 favorite in a game that played UNDER a total of six runs. Mike Cuddyer gave the Mets a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the fourth, starter Matt Harvey threw seven innings of shutout ball and Daniel Murphy broke the game open with a bases-loaded double in the eighth, with help from a misplay by Jayson Werth, knocking in the final three runs.
Harvey gave up five hits through his seven innings, lowering his ERA on the season to 2.41. New York closer Jeurys Familia then got the final five outs to pick up his 10th save in 10 chances this season.
Washington starter Max Scherzer gave up just the one run and five hits through seven innings, walking one while whiffing 10. His ERA now sits at 1.26, which is also pretty good.
Nats lead-off man Denard Span sat out Friday's game with soreness in his side, and his status for the rest of this series is uncertain.
Niese is two-for-four on quality starts this year. Last time out he got nicked for six runs – four earned – and eight hits through five innings against the Yankees, but through his first three starts he had allowed just three ER. On the season Niese has allowed seven ER and 37 base-runners (28 hits + nine walks) through 23 innings. New York is 2-2 in Niese's starts, with the totals leaning toward the OVERS by a 3-0-1 margin.
Last year Niese started three times against Washington, giving up 11 ER and 26 base-runners in 17 innings. The Mets lost all three of those games.
Gonzalez is one-for-four on quality starts this season. Last time out Gonzo gave up six runs and 10 hits through five innings against Miami, so on the season he's allowed 13 earned runs and 40 base-runners (29 hits + 11 walks) through 23 1/3 innings. Washington is 2-2 in Gonzo's starts, with the totals splitting 2-2.
Last year Gonzalez started five times against New York, giving up 13 ER and 31 base-runners through 28 2/3 innings. The Nats went 2-3 in those games, with the totals going 0-2, with, if you can believe it, three pushes.
Saturday's Battling Splits
Washington owns a .325 team OBP and a .429 team slugging percentage against left-handed pitching this season.
New York owns a .333 OBP and a .420 slugging percentage against lefties.
Nats-Mets Game 3 Picks
This game might come down to the bullpens, and for the moment we give New York the edge in that department. So we'll take the home dog on the side. Also, considering Niese and Gonzalez combined for a 4.72 ERA last year against tonight's opponents, we're thinking this game will go OVER for our MLB picks.
Friday's Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
Nats-Mets Game 1 Recap
New York grabbed an early 2-0 lead Thursday night, but Washington roared back with three runs in the fourth, two in the sixth and three more in the ninth to take Game 1 of this series 8-2. The Nats, to our delight, won as -115 post-time favorites, and the game played OVER a total of 6.5 posted on the MLB odds.
It was the Mets first home loss of this season.
Washington has now scored 34 runs over its last three games, while New York has now been held to three runs or fewer each of its last four games. Washington starter Stephen Strasburg gave up two runs in the second inning Thursday, then settled down and ended up pitching into the sixth, allowing no more damage.
Mets starter Jake deGrom retired the first nine batters he faced, but a walk and an error opened the door to the first three Nats runs. He also pitched into the sixth, charged with three earned runs.
Washington lead-off man Denard Span, who started the season on the DL but has been hot since joining the lineup, left Thursday's game, and his status for Friday is uncertain.
Game 2 Betting Odds
Most books opened Friday's game with New York and Matt Harvey favored by around -115 over Washington with Max Scherzer, with a total of six runs. In the early betting most books then dropped that price about a nickel, to the -110 range.
Harvey, by our tough standards, is two-for-four on quality starts this season. Last Saturday he held the Yankees to two runs through 8 2/3 innings of an 8-2 Mets victory, and on the season he's allowed nine runs and 25 base-runners (hits + walks) through 26 2/3 innings. New York is 3-1 in Harvey's starts, with the totals going 3-1, mainly because the Mets have scored six, six and seven runs in his last three outings.
Harvey has been very tough on Washington so far in his short ML career, and was again in his first start against the Nats this year, back on April 9, throwing six innings of four-hit, shutout ball, walking one while whiffing nine in a 6-3 Mets win.
Scherzer is four-for-four on quality starts through his first month back in the National League. Last Thursday he held St. Louis to two runs through seven innings, although the Nats lost that game 4-1, and on the season, including a good effort against these Mets back on Opening Day, he's allowed just four earned runs and 24 base-runners through 28 2/3 innings. Washington is 2-2 in Scherzer's starts, with the totals going 1-2-1.
Scherzer is also working tonight on a few extra days off, because he missed his last turn in the rotation with a jammed thumb.
Scherzer's start back on Opening Day was his first against the Mets in two seasons. He took a shutout into the sixth inning that day, but an Ian Desmond error led to two-unearned runs. Desmond then made another error in the seventh inning, which led to another unearned run. So Scherzer's line that day showed zero ER and four hits allowed through 7 2/3 innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Game 2 Free Pick
Harvey and Scherzer should keep this one close, but the Nationals are the hotter team at the moment, and should find a way to win this one. Also, in thinking the first team to three runs might win this game we like the UNDER for our MLB picks.
Free MLB Pick: Washington +100 at Bovada and UNDER six runs (+100) at WagerWeb
Thursday's Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
Nats-Mets Game 1 Betting Odds
As of early Thursday morning most of the MLB odds were listing New York and Jake DeGrom at right around -110 over Washington and Stephen Strasburg, with a total of seven runs.
Also, BookMaker was chalking the Mets at -120 to win this series, based on the first three games, with the Nationals “getting” +100.
Washington just took the last two games of a three-game series at Atlanta. The Nats lost Tuesday night 8-4, extending a losing streak to six games, but snapped that slide with a wild 13-12 win Wednesday night, then won Thursday 13-4.
Washington trailed 9-1 after two innings Wednesday, then scored four runs in the fifth, three in the seventh and three in the ninth to steal the victory. Thursday the Nats trailed early 3-1, then scored four in the fourth, three in the seventh and four in the ninth. That's a lot of crooked numbers for a two-game span.
Meanwhile, New York just lost the last two games of a three-game series in Miami. The Mets won Tuesday 3-1, but lost Wednesday 4-3 and Thursday 7-3. And they would have gotten swept if not for Daniel Murphy's three-run homer in the top of the ninth Tuesday night.
Last weekend New York dropped two of three games against the Yankees. So since their 11-game winning streak the Mets have lost two series in a row, indicating perhaps they're coming back to Earth.
Big-picture, at 15-7 New York leads the NL East by 4.5 games over second-place Atlanta, while at 9-13 Washington sits in fourth place, six games back of the Mets.
Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
DeGrom, after a fine rookie season last year, is three-for-four on quality starts this season. Last time out he got clipped for six runs in five innings against the Yankees, but prior to that he had allowed just two runs through his first 19 1/3 innings. For the season DeGrom has given up eight runs and 32 base-runners (27 hits + five walks) through 24 1/3 innings. New York is 2-2 in his starts, with the totals going 1-2-1.
DeGrom has started twice in his short ML career against the Nationals, including a quality effort in a tough loss back on April 8, giving up five runs and 13 hits through 12 innings. The Mets lost those games by scores of 5-3 and 2-1.
Strasburg is just one-for-four on quality starts this year. Last Saturday he gave up four runs and eight hits through six innings at Miami, and on the season he's allowed 13 earned runs and 39 base-runners through 24 innings. Washington is 1-3 in Strasburg's starts, with the totals leaning toward the OVERS 3-1.
Since the beginning of last season Strasburg has started three times against the Mets, including a losing effort back on April 9, allowing seven ER and 24 base-runners through 18 1/3 innings. The Nats won two of those games, and two of those games played OVER.
Battle of the Bullpens
The New York bullpen ranks seventh in the Majors with a 2.87 ERA, with 11 saves in 12 chances, while the Washington pen ranks 12th in ERA at 3.29 but has blown as many saves chances as it's converted, five of each.
Thursday's Batting Splits
Washington owns a .299 team OBP and a .365 team slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season.
New York owns a .310 OBP and a .348 slugging percentage against righties.
Nats-Mets Recent History
This is the second meeting between these teams this season; three weeks ago the Mets took two of three games from the Nats in DC. Two of those games stayed UNDER.
Last year Washington took the season series from New York 15 games to four.
These two teams are a combined 26-15 on the totals this season.
New York is 10-0 at home this season.
Washington is still playing without IF Anthony Rendon (21 HR, 17 SB last year), while New York is without 3B David Wright. So both teams are down one key stick.
Nats-Mets Game 1 Free Pick
All things considered, this looks like a very equal match-up. But Washington comes in on a bit of a high, after scoring 26 runs over its last two games, while New York might be experiencing a lull, in the wake of that great winning streak. So we'll go with the Nationals to take Thursday night's series opener with our MLB picks..
Free MLB Pick: Washington +100 at WagerWeb