Thursday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Mets vs. Nationals: Plenty of Offense Expected in Washington (May 12)
John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Pete Alonso
- The Nationals host the Mets in a Thursday matinee.
- Both starting pitchers -- Taijuan Walker and Joan Adon -- may be in for rough afternoons as plenty of runs are expected.
- D.J. James shares his best bets below.
Mets vs. Nationals Odds
|Over/Under||8.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||1:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
To round off the series, the Washington Nationals will host the New York Mets on Thursday in a matinee game. The starting pitching matchup is Joan Adon versus Taijuan Walker. Neither of these hurlers has been particularly strong this season and neither has encouraging predictive measures. Adon owns a 6.90 xERA, ranking in the fourth percentile of MLB. He is below average in every category, except fastball velocity. However, if a pitcher cannot properly locate his pitches, it does not matter how fast he is throwing. Meanwhile, Walker holds a 4.26 xERA, which is seemingly average, but he permits so much hard contact and rarely strikes out opponents. Since the beginning of May, both of these teams rank in the top eight of wRC+ against righties. This does not bode well for the pitching side of this matchup, but it does help over-backers, which is the correct play in this game.
New York Mets: Matchup Doesn’t Look Good for Walker
Taijuan Walker has been a similar pitcher for many years now. He started his 2021 campaign on fire, but that quickly melted once the All-Star break arrived. It seems the second half of last season has also bled into this season. He had three straight appearances with zero earned runs until his last start against the Phillies, where he gave up nine hits, two walks and six earned runs in four innings. The Washington Nationals may not have the hitting capabilities of the Phillies, but they have been at the top of the heap in May against right-handers. Washington has a 149 wRC+ this month and is slugging .508. Josh Bell and Juan Soto both have a xwOBA over .400, so expect strong plate appearances from them against Walker.
The Mets do have a top-five bullpen this year, so the Nats will need to score runs off Walker to target this total. New York owns a collective 3.13 xFIP. Sean Reid-Foley is on the Injured List, but otherwise, the ‘pen is healthy. If the Nationals can put a strain on Walker by forcing him out early, they could maybe squeak a run or two across the plate late.
Washington Nationals: Pitching Staff has Struggled
Now, Adon has had even worse results than Walker. He struggles mightily with command and has a walk rate over 13%. The Mets only have a 18.5% strikeout rate this month, which will not play into Adon’s hands. His saving grace might be that the Mets rank fifth-to-last in Hard Hit Percentage. That said, he allows an Average Exit Velocity over 90 MPH. In addition, New York has several players with an xwOBA over .345 off of righties. This will not be the game where Adon finally turns it on.
If Adon gets bounced early, Sean Doolittle, Hunter Harvey and Mason Thompson are all on the Injured List. This hinders Washington’s ability to stretch the bullpen. If the Mets do get to the Nationals’ bullpen early, they should be able to score some runs. After all, the collective xFIP for Washington is near 4.00.
Neither starting pitcher is strong enough to hold the other lineup in check. Both the Mets and Nationals have hit righties hard in the month of May. Aside from each team’s shortcomings with hitting the ball hard, they have been able to score consistently. The Nationals’ bullpen will be a bit stretched with some injuries, so take the over at 9 (-105) and play to 9.5 (-110).
Pick: Over 9 (-105) | Play to 9.5 (-110)