Mets Have Brooms Ready for Series Finale at Nationals

Sunday, April 8, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 8, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

A pair four-game streaks collide tonight on ESPN, and we have a free baseball pick for the National League East showdown between New York and Washington.

Sunday MLB: Mets (6-1 SU, 3-4 O/U) vs. Nationals (4-4 SU, 4-2-2 O/U)
Free MLB Pick: Mets +150Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Washington was generally considered to have the easiest path to an NL division title in 2018. Yet here we are completing the first full week of the schedule, and it’s the Nationals chasing the Mets in the NL East after dropping four straight, including the first two in this weekend's series against New York.

The division foes wrap up their initial meeting of the season under the watchful eye of ESPN’s "Sunday Night Baseball" cameras (8:08 ET), with Matt Harvey (0-0, 0.00) throwing for the Mets against Washington’s Tanner Roark (1-0, 1.29). The MLB odds board favors the Nationals on a -160 money line with 8 for the total.

’Over’ 5-2 Last 7 In DC Between Mets & Nats

The series opened with an 8-2 Mets win on Thursday as Jacob deGrom tossed six strong innings and Jay Bruce drove home half of New York’s runs. Following a rare Friday off, the clubs reconvened Saturday when Steven Matz and five relievers pitched the Mets past the Nats 3-2 as +140 underdogs. New York now takes aim at its first sweep in DC since September 2015, and Saturday’s result halted a string of four consecutive "over" winners at Nationals Park.

After struggling with injuries and command the past two seasons, Harvey’s 2018 began on a high note with the right-hander tossing five innings of 1-hit shutout baseball against the Phillies. This will be his seventh career assignment in DC; Harvey is 1-3 with a 4.09 ERA in the previous six . Roark was also effective in his season debut Tuesday in Atlanta, holding the Braves to a run on four hits in an 8-1 decision. He has generally had the Mets’ number over the years, owning a 7-2 record in 11 starts and six relief appearances to go with a 2.75 ERA (78.1 IP).

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

After calling an "over" winner in the Yankees’ home opener Tuesday, Mark Ripperger is set for his second plate assignment of the season. Among the younger (37) umpires in the bigs, Ripperger has generally shown a bit of an "under" lean in his first four MLB seasons (51-66-5 O/U/P) and is calling pitches on this diamond for the first time since late in 2015.

Clear skies and cool temps in the mid-40s greet the game’s first pitch as the Mets hope to broom the Nats. My free baseball pick will simply follow the current streaks with a play on the Dark Knight and the visitors.

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