Mets vs. Nationals Pick – MLB July 20th

The Washington Nationals welcome the New York Mets to town, after the Nationals found out what it is like to face Zack Greinke. Greinke, once again, did not allow a single run, and the Dodgers went on to win by a score of 5-0. The run he has had is for the ages, and the Dodgers can only hope that he is like this when games start to really matter in September. Of course every game matters at this point, but there are going to be some clutch spots where the Dodgers are going to need him to be, well, clutch. The way he’s pitching I can’t find a reason why he would collapse late, other than an injury or severe arm fatigue. Can you imagine if the Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw playing like he was last year, combined with the season Greinke is having? That would have been quite the dangerous combo. However, Kershaw is fully capable of going on a run as well, so look out for the Dodgers. The Nationals unfortunately couldn’t take advantage of a strong start from Max Scherzer, who had another great start, but it wasn’t enough to best Greinke yesterday.

The Nationals will look to respond tonight against Matt Harvey and the Mets. The Mets hold one of the worst offenses in baseball and feature a few stellar starting pitchers. The result is plenty of low-scoring matchups. The Nationals couldn’t even score a run yesterday, so maybe the Mets could have actually won that one with their dismal offense. The Nationals send out Gio Gonzalez, who I find can be a bit of an X-factor for the Nats. We know how good a few members of the Nationals’ rotation is, but Gonzalez is often the forgotten member. He may not be having his best season, but he hasn’t been bad particularly bad either. His most recent showings have been quite strong as well. He’ll be faced with the task of beating Matt Harvey Monday night.

N.Y. Mets vs. Washington Nationals

Matt Harvey (8-6, 3.09 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.99 ERA)

There are always two or three teams that have god awful offenses every year. In 2015 the Mets are included in that group. They’ll have flashes, and then quickly revert back for the next few games to being a poor offense. The Mets essentially need lights out pitching performances from their hurlers on the majority of nights. That isn’t the formula that is going to win games. Maybe if Zack Greinke was pitching every game that’d be a different story, but this isn’t a video game, there is no Greinke on the Mets and he certainly isn’t pitching every game. Matt Harvey isn’t bad, though. He was actually one of the best pitchers in the league before he suffered an unfortunate injury which required surgery. It has been a long road back for Harvey, and it continues tonight against the Nationals. Harvey hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since June 10th, six starts ago. And he only allowed 3 runs once, a start against the Angels on the road.

The Nats’ counter with Gio Gonzalez, who has been flourishing of late and looking like 2012 Gio Gonzalez. He has only allowed 2 runs total in his last three starts, which translates into a 0.90 ERA. The Mets and Nationals notoriously play each other tight and low scoring, with the UNDER going 6-2 in their last eight meetings. The UNDER is 7-3 in the Nationals last ten games. Conversely, the Mets are 21-7 to the UNDER in their last 28 games. We see all signs pointing to, what else, a low scoring game that should favor the UNDER at 7.