Weekend MLB betting preview: Nationals at Mets

Robert Criscola

August 9th, 2019

The hottest team in baseball, the New York Mets (59-56, 13-1 in their last 14 games), will look to keep rolling against a divisional foe in the thick of the Wild Card race in the Washington Nationals (61-53). Here's what bettors should be expecting throughout the three-game series at Citi Field.

Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET

TeamRun LineMoneylineO/U
Washington Nationals
-1.5 (+140)
O 7.5 (-115)
New York Mets
+1.5 (-170)
U 7.5 (-105)

MLB free play: Under

Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 3.72 ERA) should be able to cool the Mets' red-hot bats, while his opposite number, Marcus Stroman (6-11, 3.07 ERA), does his job against the Nationals' lineup on Friday night.

Strasburg, the National League Pitcher of the Month for July (5-0, 1.14 ERA), was rocked in his first August start by the Diamondbacks on Saturday, when he gave up a career-high nine earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. Bettors should dismiss that effort as a fluke. Strasburg has been dominant against lefties this year, allowing opponents to bat just .188 from that side of the plate, so Mets leadoff man Jeff McNeil and outfielder Michael Conforto could have difficulties in this one. They have been two of New York's best batsmen over the last two weeks, with 33 hits in 102 at-bats (.324), along with 13 home runs and 26 RBIs.
Stroman will face a Washington lineup that has plated 4.91 runs per game on the road this year, which is 13th in the majors. Second baseman Brian Dozier, right fielder Adam Eaton and catcher Yan Gomes are a combined 4-for-28 (.143) all-time against the right-hander from Long Island.

Saturday, 7:10 p.m.

Nationals starter Patrick Corbin (9-5, 3.43 ERA) has been vulnerable on the road this season, and he draws a difficult matchup with New York's Noah Syndergaard on Saturday night.

Corbin owns a 5.32 ERA in 12 starts away from the nation's capital this season and has allowed a .275 opponent batting average. Those are way above his respective 1.78 and .189 marks at home. Corbin has produced a slightly elevated 3.83 ERA in his last five starts and is a modest 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four starts against the Mets this year. First baseman Pete Alonso has done plenty of damage against the southpaw pitcher in his brief career, going 4-for-11 with three extra-base hits. Corbin's relievers are a liability, as they've authored a 6.89 ERA in the last two weeks, the second-worst mark in baseball in that span.

Syndergaard has recorded a quality start in eight of his last 11 outings, which has lowered his ERA by almost a whole point. In three efforts against Washington this season (20 innings), he has a 0.750 WHIP. The Mets bullpen is the second-best in the game by ERA over the last two weeks (3.06).

Sunday, 1:10 p.m.

Starting pitching should rule the day in the series finale, as the Nationals' Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 3.67 ERA) faces the Mets' Jacob deGrom (7-7, 2.77 ERA).

Sanchez began the season 0-6 with a 5.27 ERA but has gone an 7-0 in his last 13 efforts with a 2.76 ERA. New York's hitters have only spotty experience against Sanchez, but those who do have not performed all that well. Third baseman Todd Frazier, for instance, has just one hit in 19 prior meetings with the Venezuela native.

In July, deGrom had a case for the NL Pitcher of the Month, as he went 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA in five starts. Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon is just one of many in Washington's lineup who have struggled against the Mets' ace. He has only two hits off deGrom in 28 prior at-bats.