‘Under’ Trend Strong in Nationals-Mets Opener

Willie Bee

Thursday, July 12, 2018 11:56 AM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018 11:56 AM UTC

Pronounced chalk on the MLB odds board, Max Scherzer makes his last start before the All-Star break when the Nationals open a weekend series against the Mets on Thursday.

Washington (46-46 SU, 36-54 O/U) at New York Mets (37-53 SU, 39-48 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Under 6½Best Line Offered: JustBet

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Every team wants to go into the All-Star break on a winning note with hopes of building momentum for a second half run. The underachieving Washington Nationals are certainly looking to do just that when they open a 4-game set in New York against the Mets on Thursday (7:10 PM ET).

Wallowing in the NL East with a .500 record, the Nats send ace Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.33) to the hill against New York’s Steven Matz (4-6, 3.31). As he has been in 18 of his previous 19 starts this season, Scherzer is drawing sizeable chalk with 5Dimes offering Washington on a -210 price along with a 7-run total that favors the ‘under.’

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Toss the helmet. Touch the plate. Go home happy. 😃 #MetsWIN pic.twitter.com/qQg2yJYb6L

— New York Mets (@Mets) July 12, 2018

Mets 2-0 This Season When Matz Faces Nats

Assuming he doesn’t come up lame after tonight’s outing, Scherzer’s next appearance on a big-league mound should come next Tuesday in DC as the NL starter in the All-Star Game. He missed the Mets in the two previous series between the clubs, but has seen them 11 times since joining Washington in 2015, winning six with a 2.07 ERA (5-2, 1.40 at Citi Field). Though Matz didn’t figure into the decision in either outing vs. the Nationals this season, New York still managed to win both games, including a 3-2 decision at home as +145 underdogs on the baseball odds. The southpaw has been a better pitcher on the road (2.25 ERA) than at home (4.17), allowing 11 of 13 homers in his nine home assignments.

This will be the first time any New York pitcher has faced Washington rookie Juan Soto, the 19-year-old hitting .304 on the season after going 4-for-12 with a homer in the recent series at Pittsburgh. Offense has been a huge problem for the Mets all year, the team ranking 13th in the NL averaging 3.86 runs per game. Asdrubal Cabrera leads New York in hitting (.280), homers (16) and RBI (51).

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Looking for their first season series win over the Nats since 2015, the Mets are off to a pretty good start with four wins in the six 2018 meetings. Washington, however, has ruled Citi Field since it opened in ’09, winning 58 of the 89 played there and taking two of three in mid-April when the clubs last collided. Two of those games went past the totals, leaving ‘over’ bettors 7-4 dating to early last season.

Clouds during the day should give way to mostly clear skies by game time, the weatherman calling for temps in the upper 70s with a light south breeze (out to left-center). The strong ‘under’ trends for both pitchers and each team makes this one an easy free MLB pick.

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