In tonight’s installment of the Mets-Nationals NL East Rivalry, there looks to be a pitching mismatch. With the losses of Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman to injury, the Mets have to rely on righty Rick Porcello for upper-rotation innings. Meanwhile, the Nationals will send the Hall-of-Fame-bound Max Scherzer to defend home turf.
New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. – 6:05 PM EST
Game Info/Starting Pitchers:
NYM: Rick Porcello – R (Last Season: 5.52 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 1.8 WAR, 174.1 IP)
WAS: Max Scherzer – R (Last Season: 2.92 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 6.5 WAR, 172.1 IP)
Odds & Betting lines (DraftKings)
Total: 8.5| Over: -110 | Under: +100
NYM | Moneyline: +186 | Run Line (+1.5): -105
WAS | Moneyline: -208 | Run Line (-1.5): +100
NYM: C Rene Rivera, IF Robinson Cano, IF Jed Lowrie, IF Eduardo Nunez, OF Jake Marisnick, SP Marcus Stroman, SP Noah Syndergaard, RP Brad Brach, RP Robert Gsellman, RP Walker Lockett
WAS: RP Roenis Elias, RP Will Harris
Problems in the ‘Pen
Arguably the biggest culprit behind the Mets early-season collapse has been their bullpen. Indeed, the unit’s 5.55 ERA is 24th in baseball, and the team’s 3 blown saves are tied for 3rd-most. GM Brodie Van Wagenen must be frustrated after seeing big-name like acquisitions Edwin Diaz and Dellin Betances fumble so many leads away.
Although the Nationals haven’t been struggling, they have failed to keep pace with their 2019 offense. Due to the loss of superstar Anthony Rendon, that may ultimately be impossible. Fortunately, however, the return of Juan Soto (COVID) should serve as a shot in the arm for the sleepy lineup.
NYM +1.5 (-102) and/or ML (+186)
Scherzer’s dominance aside, the Mets remain a good play in part due to recency bias. Yes, the recent Mets losses have been ugly, but a small 1- or 2-week sample doesn’t tell us much. Even if the New York bullpen is below average, they can still be projected for an ERA around 4.50. In other words, the ‘bad’ requires a big dose of context. With a good offense, in a hitter’s park, and versus another team with bullpen problems, the Mets have a fighting chance today.