The Washington Nationals and the New York Mets saw the first game of their series rained out on Monday night. They’ll now attempt to play a doubleheader on another rainy day at Citi Field on Tuesday.
With the Braves losing on Monday, the Mets are still mathematically alive in the race for the NL East title and a first-round bye in the postseason. If New York can win the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the tension will ratchet up for both the Mets and Braves on Tuesday night.
For the Mets to retain any hope, they’ll have to sweep the Nationals on Tuesday. We’ll look at their chances at winning the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader in our MLB betting picks and predictions for Nationals vs. Mets.
Nationals vs Mets best odds
Nationals vs Mets picks and predictions
Throughout the 2022 season, the Mets have been able to depend on their deep rotation to give them a strong chance of winning in every game. While Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer earn most of the attention from fans and pundits, New York has also gotten excellent seasons out of Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker.
It will be Walker who takes the ball for the Mets in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Walker has been a consistent presence at the back end of the New York rotation all year long and dominated the Nationals in his one start against them. On May 12, Walker threw seven shutout innings against Washington to pick up his first win of the year.
Having starters like Walker at the back of the rotation means that the Mets have a pitching edge almost every night. That’s certainly true on Tuesday night when Washington will start journeyman righty, Paolo Espino. The Nationals are throwing out a unique duo for the doubleheader, as Espino and Game 1 starter Cory Abbott are a combined 0-12 on the year.
The one thing that has given the Mets a small sliver of hope in their efforts to catch the Braves over the final three games of the season is the fact that these games against the Nationals are such monumental mismatches.
The Mets score nearly a run more per game than the Nationals and allow almost 1.5 fewer runs to opponents. The Nationals lack any star power in their lineup after moving Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the trade deadline. As I noted for Monday’s game — a matchup that will now make up Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader — Washington doesn’t have a single lefthanded arm in its bullpen, which will allow Jeff McNeil and Daniel Vogelbach to face favorable matchups all night long, strengthening an already dangerous New York lineup.
The Mets are 43 games better than the Nationals this year and should be able to come away with victories in both must-win games against Washington on Tuesday. In Game 2, I’m looking to get as much value as possible by taking New York on the run line.
The Mets are 11-5 against the Nationals this year and have covered the 1.5-run spread in each of their 11 victories. New York should score plenty of runs against an overmatched Washington pitching staff in Game 2 tonight, while Walker is primed for a good start against a weak Nationals lineup. The Mets are only a very slight favorite on the run line, so I’m jumping on the opportunity to back them.
My best bet: Mets -1.5 (-115 at PointsBet)
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Nationals vs Mets moneyline analysis
The Mets opened as a substantial favorite on Tuesday morning, with most books posting New York as around a -275 pick for Game 2 tonight.
New York (98-61) has dominated Washington (55-104) throughout the season series, winning 11 of the first 16 games. The Mets have outscored the Nationals by 30 runs in their head-to-head matchups this season.
That’s not an indication of any special matchup problems for the Nationals, but rather a good reflection of the gulf between these two teams. The Mets have a plus-149 run differential on the year, compared to a putrid minus-235 for Washington. The Nationals have surprisingly played slightly better since the trade deadline, but that’s not saying much, at 20-36 since August 1.
One bright spot for the Nationals has been the play of 30-year-old rookie Joey Meneses. The utility man is hitting .327 with 13 homers and a .947 OPS in his first 228 plate appearances, emerging as the most dangerous weapon in the Washington lineup since coming up to the majors in early August.
You may want to watch the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader before betting on the nightcap. If the Mets lose Game 1, manager Buck Showalter may not trot out his normal lineup in Game 2. While the Mets can easily win this game even with a diminished lineup, the -115 odds on the run line won’t be worth a bet if some combination of McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Francisco Lindor is on the bench.
Nationals vs Mets Over/Under analysis
Most oddsmakers have set the total for tonight’s game at an even 7, though you can also find 7.5 as the default Over/Under at some books.
Nationals starter Paolo Espino hasn’t faced the Mets as a starter yet this year, though he has come out of the bullpen against New York. In those games, he has given up just one run on five hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Walker has one start against the Nationals this year. In that game, he held Washington to just three hits over seven shutout innings, though that came against a very different Nationals lineup back in May.
Assuming the teams can get this game in on Tuesday night, it will take place on a cool, wet night that likely won’t favor offensive production. That’s on top of the fact that Citi Field generally favors pitchers. ESPN’s park factors rate the Mets stadium as third-lowest in MLB for run production and fourth-lowest for home runs.
All those factors would point towards taking the Under, especially if you can take it at 7.5. While the Mets may well be able to score against the Nationals, it’s hard to see Washington mounting much offense in return. Again, you will also want to keep an eye on the New York lineup should the Mets lose Game 1, as they could pull some starters if they have fallen out of contention for the NL East title.
Nationals vs Mets trend to know
The Mets are 40-19 in their last 59 home games. Find more MLB betting trends for Nationals vs. Mets
Nationals vs Mets game info
|Location:||Citi Field, Flushing, NY|
|Date:||Tuesday, October 4, 2022|
|First pitch:||7:10 p.m. ET|
Paolo Espino (0-8, 4.30 ERA): After a short stint in the majors in 2017, Espino made it back to MLB in 2020 with the Nationals. Over the past two seasons, he has filled a versatile role for Washington, being willing to come out of the bullpen or pick up spot starts when necessary.
Espino has been far more successful in the bullpen role. In 2022, Espino has started 18 games, putting up a 5.08 ERA and a 1.380 WHIP. Meanwhile, as a reliever, he has pitched to a 2.12 ERA over 29.2 innings. His last start came against the Braves on September 27, when Espino gave up four runs in five innings in a loss.
Taijuan Walker (12-5, 3.59 ERA): While Walker made the All-Star Game as a Met last year, he is undoubtedly enjoying a better season in 2022. Walker has dropped his FIP from 4.57 to 3.79 this year, and has cut down significantly on his home runs allowed, giving up just 0.9 homers per nine innings.
Not a strikeout pitcher, Walker is punching out just 7.2 batters and walking 2.6 batters per nine innings. He last pitched on September 28 against the Miami Marlins, allowing three runs on six hits over five innings in a 5-4 Mets win.
Nationals vs Mets latest injuries
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Nationals vs Mets weather
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