John Niese and the New York Mets look to get back on track after being swept by the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately for them, they now face the National League East leaging Washington Nationals. Find out where we are laying our cash today.
Washington won the first two games of this series by
scores of 5-4 and 4-3. So the Nats will be shooting for a sweep Thursday
Washington now leads the NL East by 4.5 games over Atlanta,
and by eight games over New York. The Nationals are also three games up on the
field in the battle for the best record in the National League.
The Mets, meanwhile, losers of six in a row, are also now
3.5 games back of the Braves in the fight for the second NL Wild-Card spot.
In a matchup of 12-game winners Gio Gonzalez (12-4, 2.93)
starts Thursday for the Nationals vs. RA Dickey (12-1, 2.66) for the Mets.
His last time out Gonzalez gave up two runs in six innings
vs. the Marlins last Saturday, walking none and striking out nine, although
Washington lost that game 2-1. And in his last start before the All-Star break, he held the Rockies to one run in six innings. For the seaso,n Gonzo is
12-for-18 on quality starts, has allowed just 76 hits in 108 innings, walked
42, which is a few too many, but struck out 127.
In his only career start vs. the Mets, which came last June
as a member of the Oakland A's, Gonzalez gave up just one run on four hits in
seven innings, walking one and whiffing eight.
Warming up over in the other bullpen is Dickey, who after a
fantastic first half of this season might be slowing down. Last Saturday vs.
Atlanta he gave up five runs in five innings, the third time in his last four
starts he's allowed five runs. Still, on the season, the knuckleballer is
12-for-18 on quality starts, has allowed 94 hits in 125 innings and owns a
127/28 K/BB ratio.
In his one start this season vs. Washington Dickey got a
win, throwing 7 1/3 innings of shut-out ball back in June.
As of Thursday morning, most MLB odds makers we sampled
were listing the Nationals as favorites of around -130 for Thursday's game,
with a total of 7.5. Washington could also be played at upwards of +170 on the
run line at several baseball betting outlets, including The Greek.
The Nationals lead the season series with the Mets six games
MLB Free Pick
Is Dickey's wonderful
run coming to an end? Are the Mets, who have played above their heads most of
this season, finally coming back toward reality? Yeah, it looks that way, on
both fronts. So we'll take Washington Thursday.
Washington won the opener of this series Tuesday night in
crazy fashion 5-4. The Nats carried a 2-0 lead into the top of the ninth, but
New York pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin hit a three-run homer to give the Mets
a 3-2 lead. Washington then tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on a
two-out base-hit by Danny Espinoza. The Mets then took a 4-3 lead in the top of
the tenth on a Josh Thole double, but in the bottom of the tenth Bryce Harper
tripled to tie the game, and four batters later Ryan Zimmerman scored on a
wild-pitch by Mets reliever Pedro Beato to give the Nationals a 5-4 victory.
Washington won as a -115 favorite Tuesday, and the game,
which was 1-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, miraculously played 'over'
its total of 8.5.
With the win the Nats upped their lead in the NL East over
Atlanta to 3.5 games, while Mets are now seven games out. New York is also now
3.5 games behind the Braves in the battle for the second NL Wild-Card spot.
Jordan Zimmerman (6-6, 2.48) will start Wednesday for
Washington against Chris Young (2-3, 4.28) for New York.
Zimmerman is a very solid 14-for-18 on quality starts this
season, but while he's given the Nats a chance to win almost every time out,
they're only 10-8 in games he's started. Zimmerman is also working on a streak
of eight QS in a row, having allowed 12 ER over his last 52 innings. On the
season the kid from central Wisconsin has given up 106 hits and walked just 23
in 116 innings.
In his one start this season against the Mets, Zimmerman held
them to two ER on five hits in six innings of a 7-6 Washington victory.
Young, meanwhile, is three-for-seven on quality starts this
year, but the Mets have only won two of his outings. He's coming off his worst
start so far, after getting knocked around for five runs in three innings in a
loss to the Braves last Friday. For the year Young has given up 45 hits and
walked 11 in 40 innings.
In his first start of this season back in June Young faced
the Nationals and limited them to two ER on six hits in five innings in that
same game Zimmerman threw.
As of early Wednesday AM the best price we could find on the
Nationals for Wednesday's game was the -150 offered at a couple of different
online sportsbooks, while the best number on New York was the +147 at
The Nationals can also be played at upwards of +145 on the
run line at several outlets.
Also, most baseball betting shops are listing the total on
Wednesday's game at eight.
Free MLB Pick
We had a winner on Washington Tuesday night, although we
lost about a month off our life watching those last few innings. For Wednesday
we really like how Zimmerman has been throwing this year, so we'll go with the
Nationals again for our free MLB pick.
The New York Mets are in danger of fading out of the
National League playoff races, losing their first three games after the
All-Star break. If they want to stay in the picture they might want to pick
things up as they visit Washington for three games with the team they're
chasing in the NL East, the first-place Nationals.
To set this scene, the Mets began the second half of their
season by getting swept three games in Atlanta over the weekend, losing
Sunday's series finale 6-1 to a guy who hadn't pitched in the Majors in two
years. While the Braves hope to continue their winning ways tonight against the Giants, the Mets will be happy to simply walk away a win.
Washington, meanwhile, opened its second half by splitting
four games in Miami, losing the series finale Monday 5-3.
So Washington, at an NL-best 51-36, leads the NL East by 2.5
games over Atlanta, while New York, at 46-43, sits in third place, six games
The Nationals are also two games up on Cincinnati in the
battle for the best record in the National League, while the Mets are three
games behind Pittsburgh in the fight for the second NL Wild-Card spot.
For Tuesday's pitching matchup a couple of lefties will hit
the hill as Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.43) goes for Washington against Jon Niese
(7-4, 3.73) for the Mets.
Detwiler, who's also spent some time pitching out of the
bullpen this season, is just two-for-12 on quality starts this season (by our
tough standards), but the Nats are somehow 7-5 in games he's started. In his
latest outing Detwiler gave up three runs on 11 hits in just five innings
against the Giants 11 days ago, and over his last three starts he's allowed
seven ER in 16 1/3 innings.
Detwiler has made two appearances this season against New
York and picked up two wins, holding the Mets to one run on four hits through
Niese, meanwhile, is nine-for-17 on quality starts this
season, and New York is 9-8 in games he's started. Most recently Niese got
bombed by the Cubs for seven runs on nine hits through seven innings, but
before that he had a run of three straight QS, in which he'd allowed four ER in
21 1/3 innings.
On the season Niese has given up 95 hits in 104 innings,
although 15 of those hits were homers.
Niese hasn't started against Washington this year; in two
starts against the Nats last year he allowed two earned runs in 12 1/3 innings.
As of Tuesday morning most of the top baseball betting sites that we sampled
were listing the Nationals as favorites of around -130 for Tuesday's game, with
an 'over/under' of eight.
Washington can also be gotten at upwards of +170 on the run
line at various baseball betting outlets.
The Mets are 51-34 on the 'over/unders' this season.
In early betting on Tuesday's game about 65 percent of
action on the side has come in on the Nationals, while about 55 percent of play
on the total has come in on the 'under.'
So far this season Washington has taken four of six games
from New York, with the totals going 2-3-1, as the games have averaged just
over seven runs per.
On the personnel front New York may finally get back OF
Jason Bay, who's been out for a month after suffering a concussion. But OF
Lucas Duda, who's third on the team in both homers with 12 and RBI with 44,
missed Sunday's game after tweaking a hammy and is listed as questionable for
Free MLB Pick
exactly been rolling lately, going 3-4 over its last seven games, but the Mets
are sputtering, thanks in part to the worst bullpen in the Majors. Also, while
the Nationals are 15-12 against left-handed starting pitchers this year, New
York is only 12-20. The Nationals have been one of the biggest money makers for us this season, so we'll go with the Washington tonight.
MLB Pick: Take the Nationals