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Max Scherzer (11-11, 2.89 ERA), attemping to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, takes the hill for the Washington Nationals (71-65) as they square off against Jonathon Niese (8-10, 4.17 ERA) and the New York Mets (75-61) in the first of a three-game series at Nationals Park. The Nationals come into this series riding a five-game winning streak. Action begins at 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 7
Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (8-10, 4.17) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (11-11, 2.89), 1:05 p.m. ET
Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.60) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.38), 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (12-7, 2.40) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-6, 4.35), 7:05 p.m. ET
Scherzer pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs and striking out 10 in a 4-3 defeat to the Cardinals. Bryce Harper (.339, 101 Rs, 34 HRs, 83 RBIs, 6 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Niese went 5.0 innings, surrendering six runs, striking out two and walking two in a 14-8 defeat to the Phillies in his most recent start. Yoenis Cespedes (.295, 91 Rs, 30 HRs, 90 RBIs, 7 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Mets, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and one RBI.
This one isn’t expected to be close when Washington, a substantial -183 favorite, takes on New York. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. The Nationals have an overall money line of -1,118 and a record as the favorite of 57-41. Washington is an impressive 7-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Nationals have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 6.1 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.4 runs per game. Washington’s pitchers put it all together when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game drops to 3.3 against fellow NL East members, compared to its 4.0 season average. The Nationals are the top team in the NL at limiting walks to their opponents, allowing only 2.2 walks per game so far this season.
Over in the other dugout, in contrast to an encouraging overall money line (+986), New York has an unimpressive 16-37 record when playing as the underdog. Despite an underwhelming record as the underdog against NL East opponents (5-8), they pulled off an impressive 37-19 SU record. Offensively, the Mets have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.2 runs per game by averaging 6.0 during that stretch. The Mets allow 3.7 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 4.7 runs per game during that span. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Mets are the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.17 for the season. The Mets have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.1 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Mets lead the season series, 7-6. The Nationals have a 17-15 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they’ll be facing when Niese takes the mound. Scherzer (RHP) will be on the hill against the Mets, who have a 58-47 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
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