Mets vs Nationals Series Preview and Odds

New York Is A Mess

It would be a massive understatement to say that the 2024 season has not gone according to plan for the New York Mets. They weren’t expected to be a playoff team but, in a bridge year so to speak, New York was predicted to at least be in the middle of the pack in a relatively down National League. Instead, the Mets are 11 games under .500 and are solidly in fourth place in the NL East, multiple games behind their opponent this week: the Washington Nationals. This Mets vs Nationals series preview notes that the Nationals are slight -115 moneyline favorites and +170 favorites on the runline at -1.5 runs for Monday’s series opener. The total is eight runs.

New York was a miserable 9-19 in May and June somehow started even worse, with the Mets getting blown out by the Diamondbacks on Saturday and then blowing a 9th inning lead on Sunday. Pretty much nothing has gone right for New York, which can’t get pitching when it gets runs and can’t score when it gets good pitching. If you’re making MLB predictions, it’s usually a good idea to take the Mets’ opponent.

The Nationals are coming off a series loss to the Guardians over the weekend, but Dave Martinez’s team has held its own, taking series from the Mariners and Braves over the past week and a half. Despite pedestrian offensive numbers, a decent rotation and a really good back-end of the bullpen have allowed Washington to remain in Wild Card contention.

Mets logo New York Mets vs Washington Nationals Nationals logo

📊Records: Mets (24-35)/Nationals (27-31)
📍Location: Nationals Park; Washington, D.C.
⏰Day/Time:

Mets Are Worse Than Sum Of Their Parts

On paper, it feels like the Mets should be much better than they actually are, as this Mets vs Nationals series preview will discuss. Guys like Pete Alonso, J.D. Martinez, Brandon Nimmo, and Starling Marte have all put together decent offensive seasons, while Francisco Lindor is starting to break out of a prolonged season-opening slump. Free agent pickups Luis Severino and Sean Manaea have been solid in the rotation. A few relievers have pitching pretty much in line with their career numbers.

However, injuries to ace Kodai Senga (who is still a way away from making his season debut) and starting catcher Francisco Álvarez have laid bare the team’s depth issues, as the rotation has struggled to go deep into the games, and backstop has been an offensive and defensive black hole without Álvarez. Also, over the past three weeks or so, the bullpen went from one of the best in baseball to an abject disaster and it all starts with closer Edwin Díaz who blew four saves in May with an 8.68 ERA in the month.

Díaz’s failures in various games the Mets should have won led to a trickle-down effect that has plagued the rest of the bullpen. Since May 1st, the Mets have lost six games in which they held a lead after the 8th inning. No other team in MLB has more than two of those such losses in that time frame. It’s tough to win games when every one of your MLB box scores features the opposition posting a crooked numbers in the 8th or 9th.

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Washington Has A Great Bullpen

A key aspect of any Mets vs Nationals series preview is how good the high-leverage pitchers in the Washington bullpen are. The bullpen’s numbers overall aren’t great but that’s because they were dragged down a bit by some of the low- and middle-leverage relievers. The main guys — like closer Kyle Finnegan, Derek Law, Hunter Harvey, and Dylan Floro — have all been lights out. In fact, Finnegan is fifth in the Majors with 16 saves.

If the Nationals are able to get an early lead and can turn to their top relievers, then Washington will have a good chance to beat up on a Mets team that doesn’t really have any super-reliable relievers at the moment. One thing you’ll notice from the Nationals game schedule is that there are very few games in which Washington had a lead and gave it up. The key for the Mets is to get to the Nationals early so they can feast on Washington’s middle relief group before the top relievers get into the game.

Consistent scoring has been a major problem for New York, which scores in clusters and has resulted in the Mets not winning a series since early May.

Gore Should Shut Down The Mets

Mackenzie Gore — Washington’s starter on Monday — has been very good this season, striking out 11 batters per inning and posting an impressive 2.92 ERA in 11 starts. He’s the main reason why the Nationals are a good bet at -115 straight-up on the moneyline for Monday. The runline at +170 might be a stretch considering how many close games the Mets play.

The under eight runs at -120 is also a smart move with how much these teams struggle to score.

Mets vs Nationals Odds

For MLB odds, betting analysis, and more visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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