Hot & Confident Nationals Are the MLB Pick Tonight Over Mets

David Lawrence

Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:17 PM GMT

Nationals won a series in Atlanta to finally shake off their tailspin in the NL East & the Mets have lost a NL series for one of the rare times this season. Who’ll cash on the MLB odds tonight?

The Washington Nationals Can Win Because…
They are finally playing like a really good team. As soon as the Nationals came back from an eight-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, a lot of people who follow Major League Baseball got the idea that this team found the turnaround it was looking for. Any team that has ever struggled knows that it needs something to make it feel good about itself, and for a baseball team, an eight-run comeback victory is that kind of moment. The Nationals went out on Wednesday night and spanked the Atlanta Braves, 13-4. Washington collected three big innings, one against Atlanta starter Alex Wood, one against middle reliever Trevor Cahill, and one against late reliever John Cornely. The Nationals scored at least three runs in three separate innings, banging out 15 hits in the process of routing a division rival. Six different players drove in runs. What was particularly encouraging is that the Nats drove in eight runs with two outs. The team was 8 of 17 with runners in scoring position – that’s going to win a ton of games if replicated over the course of the regular season. Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann allowed three earned runs in seven solid innings, walking only one hitter. The Nationals looked like the Nationals again, the team that dominated the National League East a year ago. It’s a lot easier to now expect that Washington will play well when it hits the diamond.

The other part of the equation for the Nats is that the Mets are now cooling off. They got only one hit with runners in scoring position on Wednesday night against Miami. The Mets were shut out after the third inning. Miami scored four runs from the seventh inning onward. The back end of the bullpen gave up three runs in a 7-3 loss. The Nationals, for the first time all season, are playing better than the Mets.

One more reason to pick Washington: Mets starter Jacob DeGrom had a 4.50 ERA last year against the Nats.

 

The New York Mets Can Win Because…
They are in ownership of the pitching matchup, if you look at season stats and ignore last year’s results. It’s true that Washington starter Stephen Strasburg had a 2.77 ERA against the Mets last year, while DeGrom had a 4.50 ERA against the Nationals. However, this season, Strasburg has labored to a 4.88 ERA, while DeGrom has a 2.96 ERA. Strasburg has not yet picked up his level of performance, a reason why the Nationals have not lived up to expectations. The Mets have been declining over the past week. But one good outing from DeGrom will set them straight. 

 

Outlook
The Nationals are hotter and more confident,which is why also they are road favorites tonight on the MLB odds board. The comeback against Atlanta seems to have rejuvenated them. Meanwhile, while the Mets have the better in-season pitcher, he hasn’t performed well in head-to-head matchups with Washington last season. The Nationals have more factors going for them, so they’re the MLB pick here.

MLB Pick: Washington -110 at GTBets