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JEFF ALLEN MLB GAME PREVIEW: NATS at METS

JEFF ALLEN MLB GAME PREVIEW: NATS at METS

The best of the National League East square off for the first time in 2016 as the Washington Nationals (23-15) travel to Citi Field to face the (21-16) New York Mets. Game One of the series features the aces of each staff, Max Scherzer and  Noah Syndergaard, in a game where runs could be at a premium. Scherzer (4-2, 4.15) is off a 20 strike out performance  in his last while “Thor” (3-2, 2.52) is generally considered the best of New York’s current group of great young arms. The line at this writing is New York -129 with the total 6.5 and shaded .15 cents to the under.

Washington has cooled off after a fast start. The starting pitching has been outstanding (2nd in the National League) but the offense struggles at times Daniel Murphy (.400, 56-140) has been a God send pick up from the Mets but is questionable in his first game against his old team with an undisclosed illness. MVP Bryce Harper (11 HRs, 29 RBIs) has been solid but the Nats supporting cast in the middle of the order has not hit leaving opposing managers little incentive to pitch to him.  Ryan Zimmerman (.234, 4, 17) and Jason Werth (.208, 6, 20) will both need to pick it up if the Nats hope to make any noise in the post season.

The Mets have similar problems to the Nats. The Metropolitan starters are 3rd in the National League in ERA but the offense is hitting just .239 as a whole, good for just 12th in the National League. Yeonis Cespedes (.287, 12, 32) has been well worth the big money he got in his short term deal signed this winter and LF Michael Conforto (.282, 5, 20) might just be the next sports pretty boy “King of New York”. Veteran captain David Wright (.229, 4, 8) has been awful and the Mets pen is generally a crap shoot at best.

Both teams limp into the series. The Nats last road trip saw them get swept four games by the Cubs at Wrigley. The Mets lost five of their L6 of a West Coast swing and hoping to make some hay on this six game home stand. Might give s slight lean to  the home side here. Scherzer was tough against the Mets at home last year but in his one start at Citi Field, was touched up for five runs and seven hits in just six innings. Syndergaard faced Washington three times last year and allowed just 12 hits and three runs while striking out 19 in 15 innings. Scherzer threw 151 pitches in his last start and might be vulnerable here.

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