We took a shot on a long shot flyer last night, and despite a solid effort from the Reds Tim Adleman, we came up short in a 3-1 loss. Alex Wood moved to 7-0 on the season and pulled his ERA under 2.00 by only allowing a single urn in the eighth inning for his eighth start this season lasting seven or more innings and allowing one or less runs. He may not have the name of his teammate Clayton Kershaw or the resume of Max Scherzer, but right now Alex Wood can make a SOLID case to the be National League All Star Game starting pitcher.
Not that Scherzer is a slouch. The reigning Cy Young winner is still the favorite to start the ASG, and he sparkled again last night in a Nationals’ 7-2 win over New York to push his record to 8-4 with a 2.26 ERA. He also leads the league in WAR, Strikeouts and WHIP with a 0.84 mark.
It’s a packed slate this afternoon and evening with a ton of good matchups. Here’s my favorite play on the National League board.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Washington Nationals -150 at New York Mets +142
Stephen Strasburg (7-2, 3.27 ERA) vs. Seth Lugo (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
The big do-or-die series has been mostly death for the Mets so far. They entered the series playing a little better baseball and a closer-than-they’d-been 8 ½ games back of the Nationals. After two losses to open the series they now sit 10 ½ back on the verge of utter disaster facing Strasburg this afternoon at Citi Field.
Strasburg enters at 7-2 with an ERA in the low-threes. He is fresh off the worst outing of the season, allowing six runs in five innings to the Braves and raising his ERA over three for the first time this season. Prior to that he had thrown five straight quality starts and the Nats had won six straight games he had started. He has struck out 51 batters in his last five starts and will be looking to dominate a Mets team he has traditionally fared well against. He owns a 2.64 ERA in eleven career starts.
Opposing him is Seth Lugo, who has been good in his only career start against the Nationals and good in his only start this season against the Braves, but neither is a sample size large enough to lend any consideration. He is in the tough spot of being asked to combat one of the best teams in baseball and oppose one of the best pitchers in baseball in a game his team REALLY can’t afford to lose. I think he’ll give a good effort, but the ask is a little too much.
Washington leads the NL in batting average at a blistering .276. The Mets rank 11th. The Nats also lead the NL in slugging by a massive 25 points.
The Nats have the vastly superior lineup and the strong pitching advantage. I’m not going to try and outsmart the room today. I’ll take the obvious edges at a good price.
Today’s MLB Pick: WASHINGTON NATIONALS TO WIN -150