Following a preseason which predicted these two teams to be in a scrum at the top of the NL East, the Mets and the Nationals have been relative disappointments up to this point. The Nats are coming off two series losses and a series split, losing 7 of 10, while the Mets lost 5 of 6 before being bailed out in two wins against the feeble Marlins. This is the first game in a three-game divisional series that could actually have some serious reverberations through the rest of the season; The Nationals could pull the Mets down into the abyss with them, or the Mets could make a push for second in the East. At this point in the season, teams are still trying to establish who they are, so let’s see what these teams have to say about themselves.
Moneyline – NYM -151, WSH +146
Runline – NYM -1.5 (+110), WSH +1.5 (-120)
Over/Under – 8.5 (O -125, U +100)
First Pitch – 7:05 PM ET, Nationals Park, Washington, DC
New York Mets
The Mets are hanging in there, just a game under .500 and four games back of the Phillies in the East. They have one of the most exciting and presently successful rookies in Pete Alonso (12 homers, tied for 6th in the big leagues) and have seen good production from their offseason additions (Edwin Diaz is 10/10 in save opportunities). Surprisingly, it has been their starting pitching that has kept them grounded. Met starters have a collective 4.48 ERA, which ranks 20th in the league. If New York can’t depend on Syndergaard and reigning NL Cy Young winner Jacob DeGrom this year, they’re in jeopardy of watching their season slip away sooner rather than later.
One of the most disappointing starts to the season belongs to the Nationals. I truly believed that Washington would be stronger without Bryce Harper’s presence in the clubhouse, but they have yet to show that they’ve got what it takes to be a playoff contender. With big names like Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, and Ryan Zimmerman on the IL, the Nationals are in desperate need of a savior. Can Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 5.52 ERA) be that man on a Tuesday night in the second month of the season? I doubt it.
I just saw the new Avengers movie, so I’ve got a pretty good idea about just how powerful Thor can be. The God of Thunder uses the extent of his power in this one, keeping the Washington offense in check. Syndergaard’s ERA isn’t in a great spot right now, but Thor wasn’t looking his best in “Endgame” and he still made it work. With two struggling teams, I’ll lean towards the better pitcher and take the Mets and the under.