Scherzer & Nats Finish Sweep Of The Mets On Prime Time Baseball

Max Scherzer

Willie Bee

Sunday, April 23, 2017 4:33 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 23, 2017 4:33 PM UTC

Riding a 6-game win streak into Sunday's prime-time matchup, the Nationals are favored on the MLB odds to make it seven when they complete a weekend set against the Mets.

If he treats the New York lineup anything like the way he has since joining Washington a couple of years ago, Max Scherzer and the Nationals should leave Queens with a sweep of the Mets in the first series between the two NL East favorites this year. Then again, Washington has to score runs to make that happen, which hasn't always been the case in the past meaning the Nats have wasted several golden opportunities when Scherzer faces the Metropolitans.

ESPN begins its broadcast of the series finale at 8 PM (ET), Zack Wheeler tasked with besting Scherzer and the Nationals. It won't be easy according to the books with Washington listed -145 at 5Dimes where a 7 run total favors the 'under.'

Fine pitching and Bryce Harper's big bat have been the story so far in the series, the Nats winning 4-3 in 11 innings on Friday then taking Saturday's skirmish by a 3-1 count, New York a slight favorite on the MLB odds each time. The victories send Washington into Sunday's tilt on a 6-game win streak to hold a 3-game lead atop the division. The Mets have now dropped six of seven to fall to fourth in the NL East, 4½ south of the Nationals.

 Neither Pitcher Has Much Luck Against Tonight's Opposition

While with the Diamondbacks and Tigers, Scherzer saw the Mets just four times, once as a reliever, and compiled a respectable 2.87 ERA in those 18+ innings. He has seen them seven times the last two seasons after coming to Washington and cut that ERA in half at 1.43 in an out over 50 frames. Along the way, Scherzer has whiffed 70 and walked just nine with New York hitters batting a paltry .139 in those games. Trouble is, the Nationals are a profit-busting 3-4 in the contests, the Mets making the few hits they've gotten count.

Wheeler was ineffective in his first two outings this season but a little better this past Tuesday when he worked five innings and allowed the Phillies just one run. The right-hander didn't factor into the decision which went to Philadelphia in 10 innings, and he has been on the wrong side of those decisions more often than not when facing Washington over the course of his career. In eight assignments vs. the Nationals, Wheeler is 2-6 with a 5.08 ERA, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon a combined 12-for-29 (.413).


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Greg Gibson dons the mask for a fifth time this season, three of his previous four plate assignments skipping 'over' the mark. It's worth noting the lone 'under' was with a 7 run total like tonight's battle has. The Mets have won four of his last five games behind the dish at Citi Field, the 'under' also cashing in four of those matchups.

No rain is in the forecast for the Big Apple area today, and the weatherman is calling for the mid-50s at game time with an 8-12 mph SE blow (out to left). The Fade Express keeps rolling down the tracks as far as my free baseball picks go, and tonight my play is on Scherzer and the Nationals.

Free MLB Pick: Nationals -145Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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