Two longtime, National League East Division rivals square off before the All-Star Break. The New York Mets are hosting the Washington Nationals this weekend at Citi Field for a four game series. The Mets will be trying to bounce back, after losing game one to the Nationals, 5-4.
Both the Nationals and Mets have struggled mightily in 2018, but Washington still has a chance to recover. The Nationals currently sit in third place in the NL East, but are just over 5 games out of first place. The Mets are in fourth place in the same division, but they are just one half game ahead of Miami for last place. The New York Mets are -140 over the Washington Nationals in game 2 of the series.
Syndergaard Returning For Mets
The New York Mets have struggled to keep starting pitchers healthy the last few years, and 2018 is no exception. Noah Syndergaard will be returning to the mound on Friday night, after spending the last two months on the DL. “Thor” is 4-1 with a 3.06 earned run average through 11 starts this season. When healthy, Syndergaard is one of the best pitchers in baseball.
The Mets have been woeful on offense this season, and come into this series with the lowest team batting average in baseball. Asdrubal Cabrera has been the lone consistent offensive threat for the Mets, but his numbers are average. Cabrera’s .280 batting average leads the team, to go along with 16 homers and 15 runs batted in. New York must find more offense in the second half of the season.
Nationals Struggling To Find Offense
The Washington Nationals have a better offense than the Mets, but their offense has still been underwhelming for much of the season. Perennial All-Star, Bryce Harper, is putting together a solid season, but he hasn’t gotten much help from his teammates. Harper leads the team with 22 home runs and 51 runs batted in, but his batting average is way below his career average. If the Nationals are going to win the NL East, their offense must improve in a big way.
Veteran right hander, Tanner Roark, will make the start for the Nationals on Friday night. Roark has had a miserable start to his 2018 season, but the Nationals continue to run him out there. Roark brings a 3-11 record into this game, to go along with his 4.76 earned run average. Washington will need a better second half from Roark if they are going to catch the Phillies.
“Thor,” Mets Win Game 2
The Mets and Nationals were supposed to challenge each other for the division title in 2018, but neither team has been able to play consistent baseball. Washington is close enough to make a run, but they haven’t showed the capability of that this season. The Nationals have talented offensive players, but it’s time for them to start producing.
New York continues to have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, but they can’t keep their young pitchers healthy. The Mets hope that Noah Syndergaard can return on Friday and then stay in the rotation the rest of the season. Look for “Thor” to shutdown the Nationals and lead the Mets to a win on Friday. Bet the New York Mets -140 over the Nationals.
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