Arguably the series of the early week is from Citi Field in Queens as the Washington Nationals visit the New York Mets in what could easily be a playoff preview — although obviously only one team can win the NL East. The other would have to get there via the wild-card spot. The Nationals currently lead the division by one game over surprising Philadelphia with New York 1.5 games back. There’s no question that Tuesday’s pitching matchup is the best of the week. So, don’t forget to check the MLB betting lines for the game.
How To Bet on Washington Nationals at New York Mets MLB Odds Report & TV Info
strong>When: Tuesday, May 17, 7:10 PM ET
Where: Citi Field, New York
Probable pitchers (away/home): Max Scherzer/Noah Syndergaard
TV: MLB Network
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Nationals at Mets Historic Betting Trends
What will Nats starter Scherzer (4-2, 4.15) do for an encore? Last time out, Scherzer tied a major-league record with 20 strikeouts, joining Roger Clemens (twice), Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson in that exclusive club. Scherzer had a chance to break the record with two outs in the top of the ninth vs. Detroit, but Tigers catcher James McCann, who had struck out three times, grounded out to end the game.
Scherzer threw only 23 balls in his nine innings for the Nationals against his former team, the Tigers, last Wednesday night. That was by far the fewest among the five games in which a pitcher struck out 20 within nine innings. The previous low was 32 by Johnson. Scherzer had almost as many swings against pitches out of the strike zone (19) as he had balls. Scherzer’s 20 strikeouts are the most by any pitcher against his former team. Rube Waddell (1908 against the Athletics) and Clemens (1997 against the Red Sox) each had 16.
Scherzer struck out 11 hitters with his fastball, five with his slider and four with his changeup. Fourteen of his 20 strikeouts were swinging. His 33 missed swings tied with Jeremy Bonderman for the second most by any pitcher in the past 15 seasons. Clayton Kershaw had 35 for the Dodgers last season. Eighteen of Scherzer’s 33 swings and misses came with his fastball, tied for his third most in a game with the pitch since 2009.
Scherzer’s last meeting with the Mets also was memorable. Scherzer tossed a 109-pitch no-hitter with 17 strikeouts and no walks in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Oct. 3 at Citi Field. The lone baserunner reached on third baseman Yunel Escobar’s sixth-inning throwing error. Scherzer joined Roy Halladay (2010), Nolan Ryan (1973), Virgil Trucks (1952), Allie Reynolds (1951) and Johnny Vander Meer (1938) in throwing two no-hitters within one season.
Nats second baseman Daniel Murphy, who was drafted by the Mets in the 13th round in 2006, returns to Citi Field for the first time as a visiting player. He arrives with an MLB-best .400 average and five homers in 140 at-bats. Murphy signed a three-year, $37.5 million contract with Washington after the Mets added Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera in early December.
New York’s starting pitcher is Noah Syndergaard (3-2, 2.53), who made news with his bat in his last outing. That’s because Syndergaard homered twice to tie a franchise record for a pitcher. Syndergaard hit a solo homer in his first plate appearance then hit a three-run shot in his next trip to the plate against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda. The only other pitcher in Mets history to hit two homers in a game was Walt Terrell, who did it against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Aug. 6, 1983. Terrell turned 58 on Wednesday.
Something that bears watching going forward is the state of Syndergaard’s right elbow. He underwent precautionary testing on it in late April, but was still strong enough to average 98.9 mph on his fastball and 91.3 on his slider last time out.
Expert Betting Prediction
Certainly go under the total here. Take Syndergaard at home, where he has been nearly unhittable at times.