New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals Pick 9/3/19
New York Mets (70-67) vs. Washington Nationals (77-59)
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, September 3
Where: Nationals Park, Washington
Moneyline: NYM + 125/WAS -135 (BetOnline)
Runline: Mets +1.5/Nats -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Jacob deGrom (8-8, 2.66 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) vs. Max Scherzer (9-5, 2.46 ERA, 1.02 WHIP)
Now or Never
There’s no time left to mess around for the Mets. They have to be thinking sweep in their final series of the year against their NL East rival and likely Wild Card opponent if they were to get there. Thanks to their pratfall against Chicago, not only do the Mets trail the Nationals, but they’re also four games back of the Cubs with a mere 25 games to play. The Mets have no room for error; following this series with the Phillies and the Diamondbacks, both of whom are also chasing the Cubs. Sweeping the Nats would pull the margin back to 5½ games behind Washington and give the Mets a second option for winning a wild card. Lose two to the Nationals, and the Mets are down to catching the Cubs or missing the playoffs.
New York Nightmare
Weird things tend to happen when Max Scherzer takes the mound against New York. In three starts against the Mets this year, he’s 1-1, and his team has gone 1-2, but the game that he won was easily his worst of the three. In the victory, he gave up four runs and eight hits, while he surrendered six hits and two runs combined in the two defeats.
The problem, as it’s been all season for Washington, is an unreliable bullpen. Scherzer is good for six to seven innings, but after that, things tend to go south in a hurry for the Nationals. If Sean Doolittle can become the kind of closer who slams the door on opposing offenses with regularity, the Nationals will be in great shape, but for the time being, they’ve tended to make their strategy to build a lead that even their bullpen can’t blow while the starter is still in the game.
Strength On Strength
There’s one other thing that’s been the same each time the Mets have beaten the Nationals with Scherzer on the mound: their own pitcher. Jacob deGrom isn’t exactly going down without a fight in his quest to retain the Cy Young Award this year, and he’s pitched pretty well against the Nationals, boasting a 2.33 ERA against Washington in his 18 starts against the team from the District.
In 2019, the Nats have barely touched the Mets’ hurler, registering 11 hits all season and scoring a single run on an Adam Eaton home run. It also hasn’t mattered to deGrom where he pitches against Washington. In his lone appearance at Nationals Park this year, he fanned 10 Washington hitters and scattered five hits in a 2-0 win, beating Scherzer in the process.
Part of the reason why the Mets are even still in the race for the wild card is because of how well they’ve done against the Nationals. For the year, New York is 11-6 against Washington, and seven of the past eight meetings between the squads have gone to the team from Queens. That includes Monday’s series opener, which gave the Mets a 4-3 lead on the Nationals in games played in Washington this season.
It’s the second straight year that the Mets have won the season series against the Nationals, as New York went 11-8 against Washington a season ago.
- The Nationals are 1-5 in Scherzer’s past six home starts against the Mets.
- The Nationals are 4-1 in their past five against the NL East.
- The Mets are 4-1 in their past five road games against a team above .500
- The Mets are 14-3 in their previous 17 road games against a right-hander.
- The under is 5-0 in the Mets’ past five games following a win.
- The under is 4-0 in the Nationals’ past four Tuesday games.
Weather ReportThe temperature is set to be around 82 degrees and dropping at the time of first pitch in Washington.
You don’t usually make money betting against Max Scherzer, but something just doesn’t seem to go his way when it’s New York in the other dugout. Often, it’s the bullpen blowing a lead that they shouldn’t, which leads to him taking a no-decision that should have been a victory, but one of his defeats came in a game where deGrom just outpitched him.
The Mets are also the more desperate team here, as they have to have this sweep. It’s a tough play to recommend, but the circumstances are right to take a shot with New York and the plus money here.
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