Nationals To Nail Mets This Saturday Night

Doug Upstone

Saturday, July 9, 2016 2:50 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 9, 2016 2:50 PM UTC

This meaningful National League East series is now halfway in the books, but two games still remain before the All-Star break. For those betting baseball, there is plenty to ponder for tonight.

Since assembling six-game winning streak, Washington is just 3-4 since and seen its lead shrink in the division to only four games. The offense, though potent, is like a ride through Kentucky where you go up and down the rolling hills. The same has also been true of the Nationals pitching.

New York is the defending National League champions. Despite what everyone assumed was a loaded pitching staff, the fickle nature of arms, elbows and shoulders has affected the Mets, as noted by tonight's starting pitcher. With an offense averaging 3.9 runs per game, the margin for error for manager's Terry Collins club is tight.

With this a regional FOX telecast at 7:15 Eastern, time is dissect who to wager on for MLB picks.


Pitching Matchup - Scherzer vs. Verrett
It is hard to call Max Scherzer (9-6, 3.21 ERA and 0.97 WHIP) a disappointment in a Washington uniform, yet he hardly been domineering. His 23-18 record over 1 1/2 seasons does not suggest the next Roger Clemens and in 51 starts, the Nationals are 28-23. This year, Mad Max has some outstanding numbers again, at well above a strikeout an inning, nearly 5-to-1 K/W ratio and opposing batters with only a .195 batting average against him. Nevertheless, his mistakes have been costly with 21 home runs allowed. If he continues at current rate, based on 33 starts, that is 38 bombs surrendered with previous career-high of 29 in 2011 with Detroit.

With Matt Harvey on the shelf, possibly for the season, this is Logan Verrett's (3-5, 4.01, 1.50) to shine. New York needs another starting pitcher and Verrett has made four spot starts this season with a 1-3 record and 5.32 ERA. The right-hander does not have typical starter stuff and this season has walked 14 hitters in 22 2/3 innings as starter and allows a home run about every five innings tossed.


Offensive Numbers
Both Washington and New York's offense is structured around the home run. The Nats are first in the senior circuit at 122, while the Mets are next at 120. The Nationals doing a better job of having more base runners, which why they average 4.7 RPG, compared to New York's aforementioned 3.9.

In this confrontation, Washington has to be patient at the plate and set the table for Bryce Harper (19 HR's and 52 RBI's) and former Met Daniel Murphy (.346 BA and 60 RBI's) to do the damage among others.

With Scherzer's propensity for leaving pitches over the plate, anyone of the Metropolitans four double digit home run guys could go yard, led by Yoenis Cespedes (21 HR's), Curtis Granderson (15 HR's) or Neil Walker (15 HR's).


Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The MLB odds at Bookmaker have the Nationals at -175, with total of 7.5. Washington has felt right at home at Citi Field, winning 17 of 25 since 2014, with the UNDER 14-10-1. These are two of the top bullpens in the NL, thus the idea is to grab a lead before the eighth inning commences.


Game Outcome
In looking at this contest, Washington is in a position to score runs if they make Verrett throw strikes. Scherzer can be brilliant, but there is uncertainty in this handicapper's eyes about the long ball with him. Though not a fan of playing big favorites on the diamond, in my opinion the Nationals on the money line is best bet as I look to improve on 26-14 record here.

Free MLB Play - Washington -169
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

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