The Washington Nationals (50-62, 21-32 away) visit the New York Mets (56-55, 33-20 home) for game two of a three-game National League series on Wednesday night. Tuesday night’s contest between the two teams was suspended after one inning due to weather and will be made up before tonight’s contest as part of a double-header.
Wednesday nightcap is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. EST start at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y. The Mets (-180) are the favorites according to oddsmakers, with the run total at over/under 8.5.
What to Know – Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals lost six of their last seven games and was down early in yesterday’s contest before the suspension. The Nationals have fallen well outside the playoff race, 14.5 games back of the second Wild Card position and 8.5 games back in the division.
There is no listed starter for game two for the visitors, but Joe Ross (5-9, 4.02 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) was the expected starter but was not listed early this morning. He could still toe the rubber this evening, or the Mets could turn to their bullpen to handle the seven-inning contest.
Offensively, the Nationals rank fifth in the majors in on-base percentage (.330) and 11th in slugging percentage (.418). Washington sold the ranch at the trade deadline, dealing many of its offensive pieces away. Star outfielder Juan Soto remains, as the 22-year old phenom has hit 18 home runs and driven in 58 runs this year for Washington.
What to Know – New York Mets
The New York Mets were buyers at the trade deadline, acquiring Javier Baez from the Chicago Cubs to bolster their offense. Unfortunately for Mets fans, the trade hasn’t paid off yet, as New York has lost four in a row and fallen out of the top spot in the NL East. New York sits in third place in the division, two games behind the leading Philadelphia Phillies.
The expected starter for the Mets is right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-11, 2.83 ERA, 1.13 WHIP). Stroman’s been solid on the mound this season but has failed to be backed up by run support. The 30-year old took a tough loss in his last trip to the mound, surrendering two runs on five hits with five strikeouts over 5.0 innings of work in his last outing.
New York’s offense is 19th in on-base percentage (.312) and 26th in slugging (.380), but only one team has plated fewer runs this season than the Mets. First baseman Pete Alonso is the spark plug to the Mets offense, leading the team in home runs (24) and RBIs (63). Part of the Mets losing streak can be traced back to Alonso’s six consecutive games without a hit (0-19).
The Pick is In
Both teams need to pick up some wins and pick up some wins quickly after recent struggles if they want to maintain a shot at the postseason. If Ross goes for the Nationals in game two, expect a low-scoring matchup between two solid arms in the nightcap.
The Pick: Nationals/Mets UNDER 8.5