Mets vs. Nationals MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: How to Bet Jacob deGrom’s Return to the Mound (Tuesday, August 2)

Mets vs. Nationals MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: How to Bet Jacob deGrom’s Return to the Mound (Tuesday, August 2) article feature image

Eric Espada/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob deGrom

  • Jacob deGrom makes his long-awaited return to the mound for the Mets tonight against the Nationals.
  • New York is a massive favorite with Washington opting to employ a bullpen game.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Mets vs. Nationals Odds

Mets Odds-305
Nationals Odds+240
Time7:05 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally arrived. For the first time in 2022, it is Jacob deGrom day.

That's right, arguably the best pitcher in baseball is back and ready to throw his first pitch in the big leagues since July 7, 2021. deGrom has been on the shelf with a stress reaction in his right scapula. However, from all indications, he is healthy and ready to go for this start.

The Nationals have opted for a bullpen game and selected Cory Abbott as their opener. This will be just his fourth appearance of the year and his second career start.

Abbott's actually only made 10 career appearances as he spent 2021 with the Chicago Cubs. Overall, his numbers are not great, as he holds a career ERA of 5.91 and a WHIP of 1.59.

So while this matchup appears to be very one-sided, deGrom has some questions to answer at this start. Will he look as if he never left? Or can the Nationals get him while he's rusty? Let's find out.

Look For the Mets to Roll Against the Nats' Bullpen

In game one of this series, we saw how much damage this Mets lineup can do. They fired right back and knocked around Patrick Corbin before Francisco Lindor put the icing on the cake with a three-run homer in the middle innings.

This Mets team is on fire heading into this one as they've won seven straight and have averaged 6.14 runs per game during their current streak.

Tonight, not only are they facing a very inexperienced opener in Abbott, but they will get at-bats against the rest of the struggling Washington bullpen as well. The Nationals' bullpen enters this game with the seventh worse ERA and the third worst FIP in the majors.

They also have the seventh highest home run to fly ball ratio, which is something big Pete Alonso and the Mets proved they could add to.

New York should have the bats going early and often against Barrett, but the barrage could continue through the entire game.

Expect the deGrominance of Washington to Continue 

There may not be a better team for deGrom to make his return against, as he has feasted on the Nationals during his career. The current Nationals lineup has compiled 105 at-bats against deGrom, and they are only hitting .200 off him with a 28.8 strikeout percentage.

This was what he did the last time he faced Washington:

4/23/2021 Jacob deGrom strikes out a career-high 15 batters and pitches a two-hit shutout against the Nationals to lower his ERA to 0.31. deGrom also collects two hits and raises his average to .545 on the season.

— This Day in Mets History (@NYMhistory) April 23, 2022

While we cannot expect peak deGrom, judging by his multiple rehab outings, he should be very sharp. He ran his fastball up to triple digits and utilized his wipeout slider to dispel many minor league hitters.

However, the one wrinkle in this outing for deGrom is his pitch count. He only built up his pitch count to 67 in his final rehab start. So now, unless he's incredibly efficient, we will likely not see him past the fifth inning in this one.

There's one last potential boost for deGrom in this outing. Nationals superstar Juan Soto's and first baseman Josh Bell's names are swirling in trade rumors, and with the deadline being today at 6 p.m. ET, the Nationals lineup could be significantly worse by first pitch.

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Mets-Nationals Pick

The Mets are massive favorites here, and there are plenty of ways to back them efficiently, but tonight is all about deGrom. The Nationals' offense has not been great this year and could be a borderline Triple-A lineup if Soto and Bell are traded.

Regardless, deGrom has outstanding career numbers against the current Nationals lineup and should face very little resistance as he will only have to go through the order twice at max.

So given all the circumstances of this matchup, I've found one of the cheaper ways to bet what we know at the moment.

Pick: National F5 Under 1.5 (-155)

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