Nationals vs. Mets Pick MLB – September 11th

I’m back after a two day hiatus for travel, and ready to get a late start to a winning week.  I usually don’t take more than one day away, but perhaps my absence was fortunate timing as it coincided ideally with a few days of exactly what makes baseball so bizarre and interesting over 162 games.

The Cincinnati Reds entered this week on FIRE, having just taken three of four from the Cards and swept the Los Angeles Dodgers.  They closed the gap to 1 ½ in the NL Central and evened up with the Pirates.  Now they get three games against the Cubs, at HOME, who they are 48-18 in their last 66 games against.  Instead, they get blown out two night in a row (including last night losing 9-1 as a -240 favorite).  Meanwhile, the Pirates were reeling from a embarrassing weekend sweep at home at the hands of the Cardinals.  Their trip to Texas looked like a daunting one.  Instead, they reel off a pair of wins including a 1-0 gem over Yu Darvish…

It’s a crazy game sometimes, but that’s why we love it – and why we pour so hard over numbers and trends to find a winning edge (and why we don’t wager EVERY game!).  Let’s take a look at a good opportunity tonight in the Big Apple.

Washington Nationals -125 at New York Mets +115 (Total: 7.5)

Dan Haren (8-13, 5.32 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (7-4, 3.38 ERA)

Here is a scary stat if you are a Nats fan.  In Haren’s last three starts, here are his stats: 0-2, 11.37 ERA, 12.2 IP.  That’s “worst starting pitcher in the majors” territory – and it’s been not too far from that all season long.  Granted, the Mets bats aren’t the most powerful, but recent history tells us their bats might get a wake up call this evening.

Meanwhile, Zack Wheeler has pitched well of late, sliding nicely into the role of “young hope for the future” while fellow young gun Matt Harvey rests on the disabled list.  He has been very good lately, and more importantly, so have the Mets.  They’ve won 9 of the last 12 games he has started.  I really like the OVER tonight, but I like the Mets to WIN even more.  Plus 115 is a pretty slim laydown for a pitching matchup as lopsided as this one should be.

Expect an emotional 9/11 game in New York City tonight, and expect a nice performance from Zack Wheeler.  I like the Mets tonight at home.

Free Pick:  New York Mets to WIN -115

Chris Scheeren / Author