Washington Nationals (+107) at New York Mets (-117, 7 o/u)
A marquee pitching matchup and pivotal divisional clash goes tonight when the Washington Nationals (51-36, 24-21 Away) send right-hander Stephen Strasburg against the New York Mets (47-38, 26-17 Home) and their own flame-throwing righty Noah Syndergaard at Citi Field (7:10 PM Eastern).
The Mets are three games behind the Nationals for top spot in the NL East, but inched closer last night with a 9-7 win in the first of the three-game series. The New York bets came alive against youngster Lucas Giolito, spreading 15 hits, including four long balls, over eight innings.
Don’t count on the same tonight. Strasburg hasn’t lost in 15 starts this season, posting an 11-0 record and a 2.71 ERA with 123 strikeouts. Two of those 11 wins have come against the Mets.
The National lineup won’t have it any easier going up against Noah Syndergaard. “Thor” is 9-3 through 16 starts with a 2.41 ERA and an identical 123 Ks. He fanned eight, scattered seven hits, and gave up just one run in seven innings last time out against the Cubs.
Syndergaard will be facing a Washington order that launched four dingers of its own last night, including the 19th of the season for perennial MVP contender Bryce Harper and the 15th for David Murphy, who continues to have a career year at the plate.
The trends favor the Nationals tonight; Washington is 17-8 SU in its last 25 road games against the Mets. The pitching battle is a toss-up. Either one of these guys could completely shut down the opposing lineup. Given that Strasburg has been even better on the road than at home (2.11 road ERA versus 3.08 home ERA) and has already notched two wins over the Mets, Washington is the better value.
Pick: Nationals (+107).
(Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])