The only game on Wednesday’s MLB schedule featuring a matchup of former Cy Young winners is from Washington, D.C., as three-time winner Max Scherzer faces off against one-time fluke winner Rick Porcello of the Mets. The Nationals are heavy favorites on the MLB odds.
Mets vs. Nationals – MLB Odds & PicksHow to Bet Mets at Nationals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 6:05 PM ET
- Where: Nationals Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Rick Porcello/Max Scherzer
- TV: MLB Network
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Nationals -190, Mets +175 (total 8.5)
In a very odd situation, the Mets lost designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes to an opt out on Sunday. He did so after not even showing up at the park in Atlanta for the game vs. the Braves. The Mets general manager said Cespedes was doing so over “COVID-related issues” and that the team had not previously known of the possibility that he would opt out.
Cespedes had served as the Mets’ designated hitter in eight games this season, going 5-for-31 (.161) with 15 strikeouts. A two-time All-Star, Cespedes returned to the lineup this season for the first time since July 20, 2018 because of injuries. That the Mets were going to be able to use the DH all season was supposed to be a boon for Cespedes as he wouldn’t have to play the field. Now that’s a moot point.
Monitor the status of two Mets here in second baseman Robinson Cano and shortstop Amed Rosario. Cano made an early exit from Monday night’s game against the Braves due to left groin tightness. His average exit velocity this season is 91.8 mph, good for the eighth-highest in the majors (min. 25 batted ball events). Cano was 2-for-2 with three RBI and a walk before getting replaced at second base by Brian Dozier. Rosario left the game with what has been diagnosed with left quad tightness.
Catcher Ali Sánchez has been recalled from the team’s Alternate Training Site. He spent the 2019 season between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse where he hit .261/.326/.322 with 33 runs, 17 doubles, a home run and 33 RBI. The Mets are batting .202 with runners in scoring position this season. That puts them 26th in the majors and 13th in the National League.
It’s Rick Porcello (0-1, 13.50) on the mound. Porcello lasted four-plus innings while allowing four runs (three earned) against the Braves last Friday. Porcello allowed two runs in the first inning, but settled down from there and the Mets put him in front after plating six runs in the fifth. He was pulled after the first two batters in the bottom-half of the frame and both of them eventually came around to score. He fanned five and walked three in the no-decision.
“I felt good [and] a lot better,’’ Porcello said. “I finally started to execute some of the adjustments. … The last game, I was fired up and I tried too much,’’ Porcello said of his first game, which was also against the Braves, when he allowed seven runs in two-plus innings.
The 31-year-old is coming off a tough year with the Red Sox, when he finished with an ERA of 5.52 — the worst of any qualifying starter.Why Bet on Washington?
Before Tuesday’s series opener, the Nationals activated star outfielder Juan Soto from the injured list. Soto never had any symptoms after his positive COVID-19 test before an Opening Day game vs. the Braves. He hadn’t played yet this year. Soto was cleared last Wednesday by Major League Baseball to rejoin the team. He needed to finish a 10-day quarantine period mandated by the city of Washington before he could return to the field. That ended Saturday.
“He showed up here to play baseball and he had two stints where he had to sit in his apartment and do absolutely nothing,” manager Davey Martinez said of Soto. “That is frustrating. Like I told him, let’s put this all behind us and let’s get your ready to play and help us win ballgames.”
The Nats need Soto as they have a .244/.306/.398 slash line and 91 wRC+. The Nationals’ expected batting average of .228 was 24th in the major leagues while their .379 expected slugging percentage came in at 23rd and their xwOBA of .289 was 25th. Starlin Castro, Howie Kendrick, and Asdrubal Cabrera have all had opportunities at hitting in the three-hole, but none of them were able to do much to fill Soto’s void.
Soto could start slow, though, as he did last year. By the end of April (28 games), the 21-year-old was hitting a measly .248, with six homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .835. It wasn’t until May that he finally started to heat up.
It’s ace Max Scherzer on the mound. Scherzer steamrolled the Blue Jays lineup last Wednesday, pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts. Scherzer was roughed up some by the Yankees on Opening Night, but he allowed just three hits and walked none vs. Toronto. It was the 18th time in his career that he’s struck gone at least seven scoreless with double-digit strikeouts. That’s third among active pitchers behind Clayton Kershaw (21 times) and Chris Sale (19). No other active pitcher has done it more than 13 times.Game Trends
- Mets are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.
- Over is 3-0-1 in the last 4 meetings in Washington.
- Over is 3-0-1 in the last 4 meetings.