In a time crunch, I didn’t get any free MLB picks out after taking a sour beat on Tuesday night between the Giants and Astros.
For the second straight night, I took the Astros on the run line, and things looked proper after six innings as the Astros held a 6-2 lead. However, the Giants stormed back from there, eventually tying the game in the ninth innings before winning it in the 10th. The Astros’ depleted bullpen allowed five runs over the final four innings of the game and we took a loss on the night.
That said, it took us until three weeks into the season to take our first loss on the season, so for now I won’t cry over spilled milk.
Let’s get right back on the right track on tonight’s small six-game MLB schedule!
Season Record: 12-6
Now let’s take a look at this free MLB pick featuring the Nationals vs. Mets from Citi Field in Queens, New York!
Nationals vs. Mets Betting Odds
- Nationals (+117)
- Mets (-127)
- Nationals +1.5 (-180)
- Mets -1.5 (+160)
- Over 9 (-103)
- Under 9 (-117)
Nationals vs. Mets MLB Pick Breakdown
Pitching Matchup: WSH – Voth (0-1, 1.80 ERA/4.57 FIP) vs. NYM – Peterson (3.78 ERA/4.03 FIP)
The Nats will send right-hander Austin Voth to the bump to complete their four-game set with the rival Mets while they’ll look to clinch the series victory in the process after taking two of4 the first three.
Voth has had some nice results through the first two starts and 10 innings of his season with that 1.80 ERA. It’s a small sample, but Voth’s peripheral numbers suggest he should be in for some regression moving forward.
The right-hander also owns a 4.57 FIP/4.81 xFIP on the season while opposing hitters have posted just a .148 batting average on balls in play. For his big league career, Voth’s BABIP against sits at .240 while stranding base runners at a 95.2% clip is not a sustainable figure, either.
He’s displayed excellent command to this point with a 0.90 BB/9 and he has a track record of solid command throughout his minor-league career, but Voth hasn’t missed many bats this season with a 6.30 K/9 rate on the year.
Mostly a fastball/changeup pitcher (combined 89.5% usage), Voth might need to find another secondary offering to last as a starter in the bigs.
After skipping the Triple-A level all together, young left-hander David Peterson was forced into making his MLB debut thanks to injuries to Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman, and he’s responded well so far.
After crafting a 4.19 ERA/3.19 FIP at the Double-A level last season, Peterson has posted a 3.78 ERA/4.03 FIP in his three starts and 16.2 innings to this point, although his 2.33 K/BB ratio leaves a little something to be desired.
While he owns a 47.9% ground-ball rate in a small big-league sample, Peterson posted big ground-ball numbers in his brief minor-league career, going north of 60% ground-ball through his first three minor league stops before posting a 52.6% mark at the Triple-A level last season.
Armed with a four-pitch arsenal, Peterson’s game is to keep hitters off-balance while pitching to contact and keeping the ball on the ground, which would explain the minuscule home-run rates he posted in the minors while he owns a 1.08 HR/9 in his 16.2 big-league frames so far.
With the loss of Anthony Rendon, I anticipated that the Nationals would scuffle on offense this season as that’s one of baseball’s better bats out of the lineup.
While that was the case early on, the Nationals have been about a middle-of-the-pack offense so far with a 17th-ranked .318 wOBA, but their numbers against left-handed pitching are a different story.
The Nats have clobbered lefties this season, turning in a massive .314 ISO, 1.020 OPS, .425 wOBA and 170 wRC+ against southpaws this season. They’ve walked just on just 3.9% of their plate appearances against lefties, but also own a small 20.3% K-rate as well.
Their .368 BABIP against lefties is a little elevated, but they’ve also posted a sixth-ranked 47.9% hard-hit rate against them as well. So while .368 might not be sustainable, it’s not entirely outrageous considering the consistent hard contact they’ve made.
They were held to two runs in Tuesday’s 2-1 win, but otherwise scored 22 runs over the other two games in the series, so I would suggest the Nationals are feeling it at the dish right now.
While the Nationals scored their fair share of runs in this series, the Mets busted out with 11 runs of their own in last night’s win as they touched up right-hander Anibal Sanchez early before getting to the Nationals bullpen late.
Armed with plenty of capable left-handed bats – and Pete Alonso – the Mets are well-equipped to handle right-handed pitching and would seemingly be a good candidate to deliver Voth his regression that appears to be on its way.
The Mets enter this one ranked ninth with a .327 wOBA versus right-handed pitching this season and are a patient group as well, posting a 10.1% walk rate against them as well.
Whether their quality work can be sustained is a different story.
They haven’t hit for much power against righties with a 27th-ranked .124 ISO against them while their hard hit rate against righties sits at just 38.5%, good for 28th in the league. That said, their line-drive rate against them also sits at 27.1% – the top mark in all of baseball.
A common theme for the Nationals last season was their bullpen that ranked as the second-worst group in baseball.
While blown leafs have occurred this season, highlighted by the struggles of closer Sean Doolittle, the Nationals’ bullpen has actually improved on the whole, at least on the surface.
They’ll enter this one ranked 15th with a 4.07 ERA, but some of their peripherals are suspect.
They also rank 23rd with a 4.90 FIP, 20th with a 4.55 xFIP, 19th with a 4.23 BB/9 and 21st with a 1.63 HR/9. All told, their 0.0 fWAR is in a four-way tie for 21st.
So, while there has been some improvement, we’re not at the point where we’re calling this group a strength of the club.
The Mets has some bullpen issues of their own a season ago, issues that have persisted in the earned-run department, but unlike their opponent, it would appear the Mets’ bullpen deserves a better fate.
The Mets rank 22nd with a 5.00 bullpen ERA on the season, but also sit 17th with a 4.26 FIP, seventh with a 3.92 xFIP, sixth with a 10.35 K/9 and 15th with a 0.5 fWAR.
The team has benefited from a real nice bounce-back season from former closer Edwin Diaz who owns a 2.45 ERA/2.80 FIP on the season with an enormous 18.41 K/9, however the closing duties have largely gone to Seth Lugo, the most consistent member of the bullpen who has worked to a 2.00 ERA/3.18 FIP while notching three of the team’s four saves on the season.
All that said, while the Mets bullpen has some solid peripherals, we are once again certainly not talking about one of the best bullpens in baseball, either.
Nationals vs. Mets Pick
We don’t exactly have much of a book on either starting pitcher in this one.
Voth has taken far longer to develop than the Nationals had hoped while Peterson’s big-league sample is tiny after pitching at Double-A last season.
That said, I’m looking at the offenses in this scenario and the lack of trustworthy bullpens on either side, and I think we’re in for another high-scoring affair after the teams combined for 17 runs in yesterday’s contest.
The Nationals continue to mash left-handed pitching while names like Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso have the Mets in a real nice position to handle right-handed pitching, something they’ve accomplished to this point in the season.
I would suggest both offenses are coming into this one confident and ready to hit, even if neither has much of a book on these starting pitchers. They certainly will as the game goes on while both bullpens were used extensively yesterday, meaning we could have some tired arms coming into this one.
All told, I’ll head for the over 9 between these two NL East rivals this afternoon.