MLB Betting Picks – New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

  • New ownership and a new outlook have the Metropolitans as the second favorite to win the NL East

  • Two Cy Young Awards winners take to the mound with Jacob deGrom pitching for the Mets and Max Scherzer for the Nationals.

  • Not surprisingly, the game featured a low total of 6.5

The New York Mets haven’t had time to mess things up since it is Opening Day. And the hope for the faithful in Queens is that they did enough to overcome some of the problems that have plagued them in past seasons. New ownership and a new outlook have the Metropolitans as the second favorite to win the NL East following high profile acquisitions of Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. The Mets will rely on the lively arm of Jacob deGrom to keep the pitching staff dialed in. The winner of the last two full-season Cy Young Awards, deGrom gets the nod against another former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer when the Mets visit the Washington Nationals in Thursday’s opener.

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: Thursday, April 1, 2021, 7:09 p.m. ET
Location: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Probable Pitchers: Jacob deGrom vs. Max Scherzer
Opening MLB Odds: New York -145, Washington +131, O/U 6.5
Mets at Nationals TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

While MLB is trying to return to its pre-COVID ways with a 162-game schedule and fans allowed in ballparks, the virus is still a lingering problem. It was revealed that a Washington player tested positive when the club broke camp in Florida and that player along with four others will be quarantined for Opening Day. Due to privacy the names of the players haven’t been released as of this writing leaving a lot up in the air heading into Thursday’s matchup.

Both clubs underwent an overhaul during the offseason after they tied for last in the division in 2020 with records of 26-34. The Mets made a splash acquiring Lindor, who rose to superstardom while with the Indians. He had three straight seasons with more than 30 home runs before slipping to eight dingers in the abbreviated last season. He also had the lowest average of his career at .258. Still, the Mets got a rising star to go along with 2019 Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso to bolster an offense that led the Majors with a .272 team batting average last season.

The Nats have something few teams have in Juan Soto, the prototypical five-tool player who can do everything on the field. He’ll have some protection in the lineup with newcomers Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell. But this game is going to be about pitching with two of the most dominant hurlers going head-to-head. Between them deGrom and Scherzer have five Cy Young Awards. Scherzer stumbled last season posting a 3.74 ERA and he’s getting long in the tooth. Was that the beginning of the end for Mad Max, who enters his 14th season in the bigs?

Probable Pitchers

He came up short in his quest for a third straight Cy Young last season but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. In 12 starts deGrom posted a 2.38 ERA and 0.96 WHIP while fanning 104 batters in 68 innings. He finished third in the voting though his stats were better than the previous two campaigns, though with a smaller sample size. There’s no denying deGrom is the best pitcher of his generation yet he hasn’t won more than 15 games in any season during his career. That could change in 2021 with a more potent lineup behind him.

deGrom faced the Nats once last season allowing three run on five hits, including a pair of home runs to Andrew Stevenson, though one was misplayed into an inside-the-park job. In 20 career starts against the Nats, deGrom is 8-4 with a 2.61 ERA.

Now into his late 30s some might be wondering if Scherzer has lost some of his electric stuff. He’s coming off what might have been his worst season since 2012 posting a 3.74 ERA and 5-4 record while allowing the second-highest number of hits per nine innings of his career. He still had plenty of strikeouts and showed the velocity that’s made him so menacing. I’ll hold off on his demise since he can still bring it.

Scherzer has had a lot of success against the Mets going 12-5 with a 2.70 lifetime ERA in 24 games (23 starts). He is facing a different lineup than what he’s seen in the past from New York and it remains to be seen if this group can punch holes in Scherzer’s armor.

Player to Watch

It’ll be interesting to see how Lindor fares with his new club. He recently inked a lengthy extension to become the face of the franchise and will be in different surroundings than he was in Cleveland. He’s definitely a talent but the kid hit just .258 last season. The Mets had MLB’s best batting average and Lindor should only complement the players already in place. But he will be playing under a microscope.

Bet Mets at Nationals at BookMaker.eu

The teams appear to be evenly matched in terms of lineups and bullpens so I’ll have to lean toward the club with the better starter. deGrom can dominate teams and while he won’t go the distance I expect him to keep the bats silent as the Mets take control. Both teams made moves to upgrade offensively and that has me leaning toward the OVER on a low number.

MLB Score Prediction: Mets 5, Nationals 3

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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