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Mets and Matz Oppose Nats

Updated: .June 16, 2017

By Charles Jay

For the New York Mets, time may be running out, unless they can really put something together in a hurry. But they have gotten a couple of key players back in action, and they could play major roles in Friday night’s game against the Washington Nationals, which gets underway at 7:10 PM ET at Citi Field in Queens. We want you to remember that at America’s Bookie, you can take advantage of two different “Live Betting” options in your sportsbook interface to stay involved in the action.

Steven Matz is a member of what was once the most imposing rotation in the major leagues, but that rotation has fallen apart, with problems surrounding just about everybody. Zack Wheeler has actually been the Mets’ best starter so far, so Matz’s return from elbow inflammation, which had sidelined him for the whole season, was welcome, last Saturday, when he held the Atlanta Braves to one run in seven innings. In that same game, Yoenis Cespedes, who had spent time on the DL with a hamstring, then a quad injury, hit a grand slam to help the team get a sweep.

The Mets (30-35) are 9.5 games behind the Nationals, who lead the NL East. So they have to get moving. And that won’t be easy against Max Scherzer, who is perhaps on his way to a third Cy Young Award. And the Nats have some MVP candidates, including Ryan Zimmerman, ex-Met Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper.

In the MLB betting odds that have been posted on this game, the Nationals are the road favorites:

Washington Nationals (Scherzer) -150
New York Mets (Matz) +130

Mets +1.5 Runs -140
Nationals -1.5 Runs +120

Under 7.5 Runs -110
Over 7.5 Runs -110

First of all, let’s establish that Scherzer has been pretty close to a dominant force. He leads the National League in a lot of different things, including strikeouts, WHIP ratio, hits allowed per nine innings, and Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP). So he’s going to be a tough nut to crack.

But what is interesting to investigate is not only how the Mets have done with Cespedes in their lineup, but how they have done WITHOUT him. They have won at a .577 rate when they’ve had him, and they’ve been just .431 without him. However, in this latest DL stint, they did manage to average almost 5.5 runs per game. It’s just that the pitching fell apart.

Matz may not hold up again for this start, and we already know that Jeurys Familia, the closer, is out with a blood clot in his shoulder. The team ERA is just 25th in the majors. And by the way, Washington’s bullpen is nothing to brag about (5.96 ERA, 1.58 WHIP on the road).

Cespedes has gone 7-for-16 since he has returned to the lineup, and if you want to look into this thing a little further, several of the Mets have had success against Scherzer. Michael Conforto is .400 (6-15) with THREE homers; Cespedes is at .350 (7-20) with a pair of dingers. Jay Bruce, the team leader in homers, has hit .308 lifetime against him. And Joe Reyes is at .304.

So our notion here is not only to go with the Mets as a home underdog, but also go OVER the total of 7.5 runs, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues on Friday night.

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