Injuries Impact Mets vs Nationals
An Opening Day pitching matchup between Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets and Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals would be one to remember.
Unfortunately, the aces in the Mets vs Nationals matchup are both sidelined. Tylor Megill is set to get the call for the Mets on Thursday while veteran Patrick Corbin will head to the mound for the host Nationals.
The Mets are expected to compete for a playoff spot and if all the new pieces come together, perhaps they can challenge reigning World Series champion Atlanta for National League East supremacy. It figures to be another long season for Washington, although NL MVP front-runner Juan Soto could help get people excited about the Nationals.
Assuming Mother Nature doesn’t win out, the teams will kick off their seasons with a four-game series.
2021 team records: Mets (77-85, third in NL East Division); Nationals 65-97 (fifth in NL East)
Dates: Four-game series starts Thursday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Television: Thursday’s game on ESPN+, Friday’s contest on Apple TV+
Location: Nationals Park
Pitching injuries Piling Up for Mets
What did the New York Mets do to the baseball gods? The potential of a Jake deGrom-Max Scherzer-Taijuan Walker trio at the top of the rotation is a reason why Mets fans were so excited about this season. However, only Scherzer is likely to pitch in the Mets vs Nationals series.
Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith return to form the nucleus of the batting order. Starling Marte and Mark Canha were brought in to add some more punch to the lineup.
There could be some bumps in the road until all the pitchers get healthy, but this is a team that, according to the MLB predictions, could be a part of the postseason and could be included in the MLB World Series odds.
Nationals: Work to Do
Soto is the real deal and when it comes to individual stars, he is one of the best MLB bets to put up huge numbers. The question is whether the Nationals have done enough to protect him in the batting order.
Josh Bell had 27 homers a season ago and Alcides Escobar is a proven producer at the major league level but, after that, there are more questions than answers.
Catcher Keibert Ruiz had a good spring, Dee Strange-Gordon didn’t play last season but, if healthy, can add speed to the lineup. Veteran Nelson Cruz brings some more power.
The pitching staff had an ERA of 6.16 as Washington posted the worst record in the Grapefruit League. The staff needs players to surprise for the Nationals to be anything but a cellar-dwelling club.
Francisco Lindor, Mets IF: There were mixed results for Lindor with the Mets in 2021, but he had four homers during the spring and led the team with 11 RBIs.
Tylor Megill, Mets P: Megill did not allow a run in two games in the Grapefruit League, although five walks in 6.2 innings is not a winning ratio.
Keibert Ruiz, Nationals C: Ruiz hit .333 with an OPS of 1.027 in nine games in the Grapefruit League.
Erick Fedde, Nationals P: Fedde didn’t allow a run in three starts during the spring.
Mark Canha, Mets OF: One of New York’s key offseason acquisitions, Canha hit .219 with just one homer in 10 Grapefruit League games.
Nelson Cruz, Nationals DH: Cruz hit .143 with two home runs in 35 at-bats in the spring. Cruz is a pro who has played 17 MLB seasons so he should be fine once the regular season starts.
Josiah Gray, Nationals P: The 24-year-old Gray has a bright future, but his 9.31 ERA in three Grapefruit League starts is concerning.
David Peterson, Mets P: Peterson had an ERA of 8.10 in two appearances in the spring.
Mets pitching ace Jacob deGrom is being shut down for at least four weeks. Fellow starting pitchers Scherzer and Walker are considered day-to-day, as is outfielder Brandon Nimmo.
Washington’s Strasburg is listed as day-to-day and it is not certain when he will be able to return to the mound. Pitcher Joe Ross and infielder Carter Kieboom are on the 60-day injured list.
Mets vs Nationals Starting Pitchers
Thursday: Tylor Megill (Mets) vs. Patrick Corbin (Nationals)
Mets vs Nationals Betting Guide
The total went under in four of the Mets’ last six games during the 2021 season and the Nationals have the same numbers.
The Mets lost nine of their last 10 road games. Washington is 9-4 in its last 13 home games against the Mets.
The Mets won seven of eight games before the Nationals won two of the last three meetings during the 2021 season.
The Mets scored 11 and 13 runs in a span of three games against Washington late in the season and have won the last six games in the series decided by more than one run. Washington has won the last three one-run games against the Mets.