MLB Betting Picks – New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The NL East is a mess early in the abbreviated season and the New York Mets are a big reason why. They ended a five-game losing streak on Monday avoiding a sweep at the hands of first-place Atlanta, but they’ll navigate the remainder of the season without Yoenis Cespedes, who failed to show up for Sunday’s game and later opted out for COVID-related reasons. The division has been hit hard by COVID with Florida, Philadelphia and the Washington Nationals having games postponed. That leaves the Mets with the second-most wins in the NL East, though they are just a half-game out of the cellar. The Nats return to the diamond for the first time in five days and will have slugger Juan Soto in the lineup to torment Mets hurler Steven Matz in the opener of a two-game set.  Bookmaker is offering a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1000)

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The game will air live on ESPN with betting options for every game on the 2020 MLB schedule available at BookMaker.eu.

New York Mets at Washington Nationals 

Date and Time: Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 7:05 p.m. ET 

Location: Nationals Park, Washington, DC 

Probable Pitchers: Steven Matz vs. undecided 

Opening MLB Odds: Washington -151, New York +131, O/U 9.5 

Mets at Nationals TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Tuesday’s encounter will be the first of the season between the clubs, but they are going to get acquainted quickly. They will play each other six times over the next 10 days. And going off what happened last year that may not be such a good thing for the Nats. The reigning World Series champs lost 12 of 19 meetings a season ago and better reverse that trend if they want to have a chance at defending their title.

With the entire Miami team quarantined and games postponed, the Nats got a few extra days off ahead of their regularly scheduled open date on Monday. During the down time Soto returned to the club after clearing COVID protocols, adding a big stick in the middle of the lineup. And assuming the season isn’t cancelled due to the pandemic, the Nats will have to make up games later in the season, which makes things a little more difficult. They are rested and anxious heading into this series against a scuffling squad.

Breaking a five-game losing streak was nice, but the win may have come at a price for the Mets. Jeff McNeil was pulled from the starting lineup prior to the game with a low back injury. Amed Rosario exited in the third inning with a leg injury and Robinson Cano was replaced a few innings later. With Cespedes out of the lineup the Mets could struggle to score runs.

Probable Pitchers

Matz ( 0-1, 3.18 ERA ) makes his third start of the season, and while he has yet to win a game he’s been the second-best option behind Jacob deGrom. Not known as a strikeout pitcher, Matz fanned 10 in 11.1 innings this season, crediting work he did during the shutdown to his new-found velocity. In two starts against the Nats last year Matz allowed only one run in 11 innings with 15 punchouts. He’s 1-5 lifetime in 12 starts with a 3.41 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. The lefty is susceptible to the long ball surrendering 27 in 2019 while offering up three already this season.

The Nats were undecided on a starter at the time of this writing. With four days off between games Dave Martinez can adjust his rotation any way he wants. If that’s the case we’re likely to see Max Scherzer take the bump. Mad Max last pitched on July 29 blanking the Blue Jays on three hits over 7.1 innings while striking out 10. Overall in two starts he’s 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA with 21 punchouts in 12.2 innings. And considering the success he’s had against the Mets throughout his career, Scherzer seems like the appropriate choice. He is 10-5 with a 2.63 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over 137 innings in 21 lifetime appearances against the Metropolitans.

Player to Watch

While it’s not a guarantee Soto will be in the lineup on Tuesday the chances are high that he makes his debut. He was cleared to join the team over the weekend after testing positive for the coronavirus and got in some work due to the postponement of the Miami series. And he made his presence felt with a few ringing hits off his teammates. Soto’s return is two-fold for the Nats. His youthful exuberance will help in a sterile environment and he’s the team’s best hitter. The Nats are averaging only 3.4 runs with six homers through their first seven games. Soto tied for the team lead with 34 homers last year while driving in 110 runs. 

Bet Mets at Nationals at BookMaker.eu

Assuming Scherzer gets the nod the total for this game seems a bit high. Both clubs struggle to score and the Mets could be without several key performers. I doubt the Nats will have their timing down after several days off. I’m going under the total with the Nats scratching enough runs across to win the game.

MLB Score Prediction: Nationals 5, Mets 2

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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