The 2022 MLB season continues Friday, April 8, with this NL East showdown at the National Park in Washington, DC, so we have prepared the best Mets vs. Nationals betting pick and odds.
This will be the second contest of this four-game series. The Mets won eight of the last 11 meetings between these teams, so it is not a surprise that they enter as a favorite on the road on FanDuel NY Sportsbook at -180.
Showalter Looks to Change Mets Fortunes
The New York Mets (0-0) finished a disappointing third in 2021 at 77-85. This was a team that ownership had spent a lot of money on and there were high expectations, but Luis Rojas could not get the best out of his club. This has drawn Buck Showalter out of the broadcast booth to take over the team for the upcoming campaign. He will need to produce positive results right away, as New York has a payroll of over $201 million, third most in baseball.
The lineup has some holes to it. The top hitter in the projected lineup is Jeff McNeil with a .280 batting average. Where this team is going to win is on the mound, where they have a starting rotation that includes Jacob deGrom, who finished with a 2.57 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.
Max Scherzer suffered a hamstring injury late in spring training, but he will be on the hill for the Mets on Friday. The former Nationals hurler had an impressive 2021 season, going 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA. His WHIP was a ridiculous 0.86, and he struck out 236 batters in 179.1 innings pitched.
Nationals Only Way Is Up
The Washington Nationals finished in last place in the NL East in 2021, going 65-97. It has only been three years since this team won the World Series, but they have finished in last place in each of the last two seasons and are expected to finish in the bottom this year as well. No concern about the job of manager Dave Martinez, however, as ownership is satisfied with the job he is doing.
The team made a number of moves in the off-season, including trading away Kyle Schwarber and Yan Gomes, and Scherzer and Trea Turner were dealt late in the 2021 season. So, this will clearly be a rebuilding year for the team, especially with Washington having no idea what they will receive out of former ace Stephen Strasburg. The big bat in this lineup will be Nelson Cruz, who has had a 40-homer season in his career.
Josiah Gray will get the start on Friday. He went 2-2 with a 5.48 ERA last season, primarily working out of the bullpen. Gray struck out 76 batters in 70.2 innings pitched, posting a 1.36 WHIP.
New York Mets:
- 4-1 in their last five games as the favorite.
- 6-20 in their last 26 games at home.
- 9-28 in their last 37 games against NL East teams.
New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals Pick
It is safe to say that not much respect is going to be shown to Washington this season. This is not a very good team. They have a couple of solid bats, but the starting staff and bullpen are questionable, and so it would not be surprising to see this team give up five runs in at least 110 games this season.
New York doesn’t have much of a lineup, but this pitching staff is spectacular. Scherzer tweaked his hamstring late in spring training, but he will go on Friday evening. Even if he is able to only give three or four innings, this is a deep bullpen for the Mets and so they should easily win this contest.
Pick: Take the New York Mets at -180
This is a battle of what is going to be two of the least successful teams offensively in 2021. Washington has a couple of good hitters in Cruz and Juan Soto, but this is going to be a team that is allowing youngsters to establish themselves. Josh Bell has some pop, but he will not get much protection around him so the number of pitches he faces are going to be limited. The Nationals will likely score no more than two runs in this game.
The Mets do not have much of a lineup either. They are going to win on pitching this year and that will be a successful formula for them. They will benefit off a troubled and mediocre Washington staff in winning this game 5-2.
Pick: Go under 8.5