Stick a Fork in Them MLB Betting Fans: The Nationals are Done

Posted by Alex Murphy on Tuesday,September 15, 2015 2:56, EDT in

After the New York Mets completed a sweep at Nationals Park, it looks like the Washington Nationals are down and out for contention in the National League East. The Mets put together three straight comeback victories in Washington, with the last game featuring home runs from Yoenis Cespedes and Kelly Johnson in the eighth inning. The Mets had trailed by a run before that inning but left with a two-run advantage. This sweep gave the Mets a seven-game lead for first place in the division. Twenty-three games remained for both teams at the time, but the Nats had stopped showing signs of life a few weeks before the Mets came to town and pulled off the sweep. The two teams do face off in New York the last weekend of the MLB betting season, but it’s likely that this will be a meaningless three-game set.

Stick a Fork in Them MLB Betting Fans: The Nationals are Done



As Met Tyler Clippard (formerly of the Nationals) told ESPN after the sweep was over, “We did our job here in Washington, and we’ve got to continue to put our head down and play good baseball. And we will. And they will, too. But we made it tough on them after this series.”

If you’re a Mets fan, of course, you probably don’t feel comfortable yet. In 2007, the Mets had a seven-game lead in the division with 17 games to go – and they ended up missing the playoffs. However, as team captain David Wright told ESPN, the flaws that were present in 2007 are not a problem for the 2015 edition. “I’m not sure why we’re even talking about this. I think it’s just me, probably, that was here. For the sake of having a conversation, if you want to try to compare the two teams, I think that those teams were built a little more around offense, whereas this team – we didn’t have this type of [pitching] staff back in ’06, ’07, ’08.”

With the Mets down 2-1 in the third game against Washington, manager Terry Collins pinch-hit Kelly Johnson for Wilmer Flores at the start of the eighth. According to Collins, right-handed batters actually fare better against righthanded pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who had been dominating the Mets to that point. Even so, Strasburg was getting his pitches in on the righties that night, so bringing in fastball slugger Johnson made sense. When he blasted a solo shot, the Nationals’ chances at the postseason took a big blow.

When Drew Storen came in for relief, Cespedes sent a two-run shot into the night. Storen had also played a role in the Nats’ loss the night before, as Washington gave up a six-run lead in the seventh inning. If you ask the Mets, Cespedes should be in the conversation for the NL MVP award.

All signs point to the Mets holding firm and winning the National League East. For the Nationals, this means another off-season of soul-searching and figuring out just what combination of talent to put on the field. They already added Max Scherzer to join Strasburg in a solid rotation, and their offense is loaded with talent as well. However, the postseason results remain frustratingly elusive.