In a division loaded with talent, the NL East should be an entertaining division to watch down the stretch. On Tuesday, to division foes square off as the Washington Nationals (5-7) travel to Citi Field to take on the New York Mets (7-10). This is the second of a four-game series between the two teams. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
In the first game, on Monday, the defending champion Nationals embarrassed the Mets by a score of 16-4. In the game, the Nationals hit four home runs, including two from Asdrubal Cabrera. Patrick Corbin was sharp in the win allowing one earned run over six innings. In the loss, Steven Matz struggled as he gave up eight runs in just over four innings.
Much like last season, the Nationals find themselves off to a slow start as they sit in fourth in the division, but are only three games out from the division-leading Marlins, who are 7-3. The Mets are in last but are also within striking distance.
Between the competitive teams and the havoc that COVID-19 postponements have played on many of these teams’ schedules, it is undoubtedly going to be a hectic season, one that any of the division teams could pull out.
The pitching matchup for this game will feature the Nationals’ turning to ace Max Scherzer (0-1, 3.29 ERA) to square off with the Mets’ Rick Porcello (1-1, 6.92 ERA).
According to FanDuel, the Nationals come into this game as the favorite with a moneyline of -150. The Mets’ moneyline sits at +130 while they have a spread of +1.5. The over/under for total runs scored is 8.
By The Numbers
On the offensive side, neither of these teams have been particularly great. The Mets come out ahead ranking in 20th in runs scored at 4.12 per game. For the Nationals, they are currently dead last averaging just three runs per game.
On the defensive end, it is Washington who has the advantage. They currently sit in 10th as they allow opponents to score an average of 4 runs per game. For the Mets, they fall to 21st, allowing 4.75 runs per game.
Nationals Looking To Go On A Streak
One of the biggest reasons the Nationals have struggled this season on offense is the absence of star outfielder Juan Soto. After having to miss a considerable amount of time due to a positive COVID-19 test, he played only five games.
In that time, he is hitting .444/.474/.944 with a couple of home runs. As shown Monday night, he gives a significant boost to the Nationals’ offense when he is in the lineup.
On the pitching side, the Nationals will look to Max Scherzer to get them rolling Tuesday. In his last start, a 3-1 loss to the Mets, he left after just one inning because of a hamstring injury. It was not serious, though, as he will look to redeem himself against the Mets in this one.
Mets Trying To Bounce Back From Ugly Defeat
While it was an ugly one on Monday, it is just one loss, and the Mets will look to bounce back from in on Tuesday. They will be sending righty Rick Porcello to the mound.
In his last start against Scherzer and the Mets, he was solid going seven innings and allowing just one earned run. He will look for a repeat performance Tuesday.
On the offensive side, the Mets continue to wait for first baseman Pete Alonso to break out. After winning Rookie of the Year in the NL last year, he has scuffled thus far. In 65 at-bats, he is hitting .200/.333/.308 with just two home runs.
One player who has produced is outfielder Michael Conforto. In 61 at-bats, he is hitting .311/.408/.508 with three home runs, nine runs batted in, and seven runs scored.
Taking the Nationals To Win
I like the Nationals in this one. Yes, Porcello was able to hold the Nationals in check in his last start, but I am not sure, especially after the offensive explosion Monday, that he can hold them to just one run in back-to-back games.
Throw on top the fact that Scherzer will likely go much deeper into this game sets up well for the Nationals. For my money, I am taking them at -150.