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MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Mets vs. Nationals Betting Preview (April 9)

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Mets vs. Nationals Betting Preview (April 9) article feature image
Credit:

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Francisco Lindor (right) and first base coach Wayne Kirby.

  • The Mets have dominated the Nationals in the first two games of the season.
  • Can New York keep it rolling with new addition Chris Bassitt on the mound?
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Mets vs. Nationals Odds

Mets Odds -145
Nationals Odds +120
Over/Under 9
Time 7:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Mets are 2-0, and they’re quickly showing the baseball world that they are better than the Washington Nationals.

After dominance on both sides of the ball, is it wise to go back to the well with New York here? Let’s take a look at this one.

Mets Rolling Early On

Well, so far so good for the Mets. They’ve won both games against their division rivals to open the season, scoring 12 runs along the way. Their starters across the first two games have struck out 12 hitters in 11 innings and allowed just three runs — and those came with Max Scherzer, of all people, on the hill.

All this is to say the Mets are humming on offense, coming off a game where they produced 13 hits against Washington pitching, and their bullpen is relatively rested with no one having been called upon for more than one inning this season other than Seth Lugo.

Even then, none of these innings have been high-leverage, so we can safely project the bullpen should be ready to roll given a close game on Saturday.

Chris Bassitt will make his Mets debut in this one, and he’s coming off two fantastic years with the Oakland A’s which saw him finish top-10 in Cy Young voting twice and make his first All-Star Game in 2021. His strikeout and walk rates were solidly above average, though he’s made his mark in the last couple of years by limiting hard contact.

That’s especially important considering his fly-ball rate increased to 26.9% last season — a five-point jump and one which classifies as well above the league average. We’ll have to carefully monitor this trend this season.

Finally, we should note that it’s unclear if Francisco Lindor is going to play in this one. He was hit on the jaw by a pitch on Friday, and he seemed to avoid trouble when his X-rays came back negative and he passed concussion tests. Still, it would not be shocking to see the Mets take it easy with him this early in the year.

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Nationals Searching for Offense

The Nationals could sure be hitting the ball better. While it’s never easy facing Max Scherzer, that actually isn’t the reason Washington has struggled through two games. No, Scherzer actually surrendered a home run to Josh Bell on Friday and four total base runners in six innings. Most of the struggles through two games have come against hurlers they can hit.

The bottom of the order has been absolutely dreadful through two games and prized offseason acquisition Nelson Cruz has just one hit in eight at-bats with five men left on base. After a strong spring, he would have hoped for a better start.

While this is a small sample size and not at all indicative of what we’ll see the rest of the season, this was never a great offense to begin with. I mean, Maikel Franco is starting at third base and hitting seventh. Washington will make some noise this year no thanks to the bottom of its order, and it will rely on the big bats in the middle to do the job.

Joan Adon — the No. 8 prospect for Washington according to MLB.com — will get the nod for the Nationals. He allowed two runs on six hits over 5 1/3 in his lone big-league start last year and posted a 7.00 ERA in three spring appearances, so it’s really impossible to predict what we’ll see against major-league hitting here.

He did have just a 4.29 ERA in the minor leagues with average strikeout upside, so this could very easily be a long-term project for Washington.

Mets-Nationals Pick

It would be irresponsible not to pounce on the Mets at this price. While I am still not 100% sold on Bassitt, it’s undeniable he’s the stronger pitcher in this matchup by a country mile. It’s also a blatant fact that this Nationals team has three or four quality hitters and can’t hold a candle to the Mets’ lineup — even if it may have its own issues in 2022.

Back the Mets to take yet another game over the Nationals behind the arm of their second-most exciting addition to the rotation and a red-hot offense.

Pick: Mets (-145)

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