Nationals Face the Mets as MLB Betting Underdogs on Friday Night

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,April 20, 2017 9:12, EDT in

The Washington Nationals and New York Mets don’t like each other much. They figure to battle for the NL East lead all season and the rivals play their first game of the season on Friday night in Queens. The Mets will be favored in the MLB odds in what should be a low-scoring game, likely with a betting total of 7-7.5.

Washington at NY Mets MLB Betting Preview & Pick

When: Friday, April 21, 7:10 PM ET
Where: Citi Field, New York|
Probable pitchers (away/home): Tanner Roark/Jacob deGrom
TV: MLB Network
Stream: MLB.tv
Radio: Washington / New York
Opening MLB Lines: Mets favored by TBA

Why Bet On Washington?

Nationals manager Dusty Baker has said that Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover will split save chances moving forward. Neither Kelley nor Glover has been particularly sharp in the early going. In six innings, Kelley has surrendered four runs on five hits, but has turned in five consecutive scoreless appearances. For his part, Glover has yielded two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. Kelley might be the safer short- term bet for saves given his recent string of respectable performances.

Blake Treinen is expected to continue to work as a setup option. Treinen was pulled from a save opportunity after walking in a run Tuesday night against the Braves and Kelley went on to finish out the 3-1 win. Treinen’s last five appearances have produced six walks, at least one in each outing, and just two strikeouts. The league is .357 with a .971 OPS against him

Trea Turner (hamstring) will head out on a short minor league rehab assignment before rejoining the Nationals. Turner was eligible to be activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday, but the Nationals want to give the 23-year- old shortstop a few tune-up games in the minors before bringing him back. Turner has been out since April 8 with a right hamstring strain.

The Nationals are practicing extra caution with Turner because hamstring strains are unpredictable and speed is a major component of Turner’s skill set. Stephen Drew, Turner’s backup, is also on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring and said Tuesday he’s making progress.

Washington goes with Tanner Roark (2-0, 3.50) here. Roark allowed two runs on four hits while striking out three over seven innings but came away with a no-decision in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies. He also accounted for half the Nats’ hits on the day, going 2-for- 2 with a double. The Nats had a brief scare in the fifth inning when Roark got struck with a line drive off his arm, but Roark shook it off and stayed in the game.

“I feel like I’m building up each outing,” said Roark. “Just doing what I try to do, go out there and make them feel uncomfortable at the plate.” He now has a solid 0.89 WHIP and 12:2 K:BB through three starts.

Why Bet On NY Mets?

Third baseman David Wright (shoulder) is set to begin full baseball activities this week. He’s already tried some light throwing, but the veteran third baseman plans to add in fielding drills and batting practice as he works his way through a shoulder impingement and cervical disc irritation. There’s no exact timetable for Wright to join the Mets’ active roster.

New York is batting .282 (22-78) with runners in scoring position this year, the sixth-best mark in the majors. The club has a .384 on-base percentage with RISP, the fourth-highest percentage in the majors. Asdrúbal Cabrera is 6-7 (.857) with seven RBI with runners in scoring position this year. Neil Walker is hitting .667 (4-6) with three RBI with RISP. The Mets are struggling a bit at home this year but went 44-37 at Citi Field last season. New York hit 112 home runs at home a franchise-record for a single-season in 2016.

New York was set to get closer Jeurys Familia back from 15-game suspension on Thursday. What remains a question, though, is how the Mets will use their usual closer once he’s returned. Familia has spent the past few weeks getting some minor-league action in both Single- and Double-A. The reintroduction of Familia, a 2016 All-Star, should only help the rest of the Mets’ bullpen as they slide back into their more familiar roles. It should also help reduce the workload on a group that’s had some issues of late.

It’s former NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.89) on the mound here. DeGrom gave up two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out 13 over seven innings but was left with a no-decision in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Marlins. The right-hander gave up back-to- back solo homers to Justin Bour and Marcell Ozuna in the second inning, but otherwise Miami hitters couldn’t touch him as deGrom fired 64 of 97 pitches for strikes in a dominant performance. Despite that great ERA and 22:4 K:BB through three starts, though, the 28-year- old is still looking for his first decision of 2017.

Washington at NY Mets MLB Betting Pick: New York Mets

This looks like it will be a 3-2 type game so go under the total. Take the Mets on the side as deGrom has been overpowering.