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The Washington Nationals and New York Mets will play the third game of their four-game series here. This is an excellent pitching matchup, as aces Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom will squre off. Oddsmakers have this game as virtually even, so it should be a good one…
The Washington Nationals have been having a rough year, even rougher than the Mets. Ever since Bryce Harper left in free agency, the energy has seemingly been sapped out of the team. They’ve struggled heavily over the last month, and they’re just 5-10 in their last 15 games. They lost in the first game of this series at a time when the Mets were bottoming out, which definitely wasn’t a good sign. They’ll have Max Scherzer on the mound here, and even he hasn’t been himself this season. Scherzer enters with an uncharacteristic 3.72 ERA, and he’s looked shaky all season. He’s normally a Cy Young contender, but something hasn’t looked quite right all season. The Nationals are just 1-6 in Scherzer’s last seven starts, showing that oddsmakers are probably overvaluing his value on the mound at this point.
Until further notice, he simply isn’t the ace we’re accustomed to seeing. The Nationals have shown no ability to win on the road this season, so I’m not too optimistic about their chances here. They’re also pretty banged up at the moment as they’re missing Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Adams, two key pieces of their lineup. Without those two and without Harper, they have virtually no pop in the lineup. They’ve also shown an inability to hit deGrom in the past, so this one could get ugly…
Mets Back On Track?
The Mets bottomed out recently and got embarrassed in a way that few other teams have this season. In their most recent series, they got swept by the lowly Marlins, and they failed to score in the final two games of the series.
Rumors have swirled around that manager Mickey Callaway would be fired, but those turned out not to be true. The front office showed faith in him, and with their backs up against the wall they delivered with a 5-3 win over the Nats in the first game of this series. As they look to build on that win, they’ll have Jacob deGrom on the mound. deGrom is a true ace, and he won the NL’s Cy Young Award last season. Pitching in the NL East his whole career, deGrom has a lot of experience against this Nationals team. He pitched against them in his first start this season and tossed six scoreless innings while striking out ten. In fact, he always pitches well against Washington, and the Mets are 10-3 in his last 13 starts against the Nationals.
Jacob deGrom in a jam: pic.twitter.com/sm10rO7UuP
— MLB Insider Brian (friends with Chief) (@SP0RTST4LKBRIAN) May 16, 2019
Current Nationals hitters have an abysmal .175 batting average and .486 OPS in their careers against deGrom, so I’m not at all worried about how he’ll pitch here. The Mets’ struggles as a whole have been a bit overblown. They’ve still been good at home, and they’ve actually won four straight home games entering Tuesday. One bad series doesn’t mean they should be downgraded, and there might be some value on them here.
- 4-0 in their last 4 home games
- 5-2 in deGrom’s last 7 starts vs. National League East
- 10-3 in deGrom’s last 13 starts vs. Nationals
- 2-7 in their last 9 road games
- 1-6 in Scherzer’s last 7 starts
- 8-17 in their last 25 overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It’s a bit ridiculous that this line is nearly even. Oddsmakers are underrating the Mets because of their heavily publicized collapse against the Marlins, but this is actually a good time to buy-low on New York. Scherzer hasn’t been himself this year, and the Nationals have been overall awful lately. The Mets will easily win this game.
Prediction: Mets -105
Full-Game Total Pick
This one should be extremely low scoring. They haven’t been at their best this year, but it’s still a matchup of two aces on the mound. deGrom has been dominant in his career against the Nationals, and Scherzer has pitched very well in his career against the Mets. Neither lineup is at all impressive, so this should be a game without a lot of fireworks.