Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets Preview and Pick – John Lannan vs. Nelson Figueroa

Washington Nationals (4-11) John Lannan +145, 9 O/U at New York
Mets (7-6) Nelson Figueroa -165, 9 O/U, Shea Stadium, 7:10 PM
EST, Thursday

by Badger of Predictem.com

Nelson Figueroa won his first Major League Baseball game in over
three and a half years for the New York Mets last Friday, if he can
do it again he will help the Mets sweep the Washington Nationals in
Shea Stadium Thursday.

Figueroa, a Brooklyn native who has spent the past three seasons
toiling in the minors and the Mexican League, had a no hitter through
five innings and pitched the Mets to a 4-2 victory over Milwaukee
last time out. Figueroa made the start in place of the injured Pedro
Martinez, which makes his outing even more surprising that even
Figueroa himself called it storybook-like.

If he can match that performance, with the same Mets offense that hit three homeruns in their 5-2 victory Wednesday night and scored a 6-0
win in the series opener Tuesday, New York will continue the
Nationals slide with their third-straight loss and their 12th loss in
their last 13 games.

The Nationals will counter with left-hander John Lannan, which on
paper looks like a colossal mismatch. Lannan was lit up in his last
start versus Atlanta (4 IP, 6 R, 9 H), and wasnt much more effective
in his only previous start versus the Mets last year (5.2 IP, 5 R, 8 H).

Bookies opened the game with the New York Mets as -165 favorites on the moneyline, with Washington as +145 underdogs. The
over/under total started at 9.

Leading the offensive surge for the Mets is a former National,
outfielder Ryan Church, who seems to be showing his ex-team what
they lost. Church, who was traded to the Mets this off-season for
Lastings Milledge, is 3-for-7 in the series with a homerun and four runs scored.

Third baseman David Wright is also white-hot at the plate, going 4-
for-7 with a homerun, five RBIs and three runs scored in the series.
Wright has at least one hit in five straight games and is hitting . 444 during the hit streak.

Washington is in the midst of a big slide after opening the year with
a 3-0 start. The Nationals have lost 11 of their last 12 because they
are struggling to score runs, pushing across just 38 total during the
string for a 3.4 per game average. With their pitching staff, three
runs a game has not been good enough, period.

Both teams have lost bettors money so far this season, with the near .
500 Mets at minus-1.59 units this year and the Nationals at
minus-5.50 units. Both teams have been losers on runline bets as well.

A few betting trends to watch in this one is the fact that the over
is 8-2 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these two, and
the over is also 8-2 in the Mets last 10 games played on Thursday.
Ironically, the two unders that have come in are the first two games
of the present series.

The Mets will also be trying for the sweep for revenge reason too, as
the Nationals embarrassed them by sweeping them in Shea last August.
Never underestimate the power of revenge and kicking a team when they
are down, especially for a team in the New York media market.

Badgers Pick: Figueroa is a nice story, but there is a reason why
he hasnt played in the majors for over three seasons. But Lannan is
not an underdog Id like to bet on, so take the over in the game and
watch the ball fly all over the yard. Take the over of 9.