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Nationals vs. Mets MLB Odds & Picks: Bet Washington As Big Road Underdog (Saturday, April 24)

Nationals vs. Mets MLB Odds & Picks: Bet Washington As Big Road Underdog (Saturday, April 24) article feature image

Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Trea Turner.

  • The New York Mets will take on the Washington Nationals in MLB action on Saturday afternoon.
  • While Marcus Stroman gets a lot of credit for the Mets, Kevin Davis doesn't think the Nationals get enough credit as a team and thinks there's value on them in New York.
  • Check out Davis' full betting breakdown complete with updated odds and a pick below.

Nationals vs. Mets Odds

Nationals Odds +183
Mets Odds -203
Over/Under 8.5
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday evening and via William Hill.

The NL East division standings are awfully close, but you wouldn’t know it from the NL East divisional futures odds.

The Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Mets are all tied for first place. The Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, and Washington Nationals are all one game behind in second place. The Mets host the Nats this weekend, and in the first two games, the Mets are heavily favored.

The Mets should win on Saturday, but they are not as much of a lock as their -203 moneyline odds imply. The starting pitcher for the Nats is of questionable quality, but so is the starting pitcher for the Mets. W

ith the Nationals having a strong lineup, they have a plausible chance of winning as +183 moneyline underdogs on Saturday.

Washington Nationals

The biggest question mark for the Nationals on Saturday is their starting pitcher, Joe Ross. After opting out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Ross is back in the Washington starting rotation. In previous seasons, Ross could be relied upon to pitch for five-to-six innings per start and have an ERA near five.

This season, Ross has a 5.87 ERA and is averaging around five innings per start. On the surface, it could be perceived that Ross is a liability for the Nats, but his xFIP this season sits at 4.21, indicating that he has been poorly served by bad fielding and ballpark effects.

Against a struggling Mets lineup that is averaging only 3.21 runs per game, the lowest in the league, Ross and the Nationals should be able to keep runs off the scoreboard.

While the Nationals lineup is without Juan Soto due to injury, they are well served by Trea Turner, Josh Bell, and Kyle Schwarber. While all three of those players are underperforming their preseason projections, the Nats should average about 4.07 runs per game in their Soto-less lineup, according to my model.

New York Mets

There are three reasons why the Mets are favored against the Nationals: the starting pitching matchup, the perception that they are a much better team, and the fact that it’s a home game. While Marcus Stroman, the starting pitcher for the Mets, is better than Ross, he is not that much better.

When the Mets acquired Stroman in a trade with the Blue Jays in 2019, there was a lot of excitement surrounding his arrival. Like Ross, Stroman opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

So far this season, Stroman has an 0.89 ERA, but he is averaging only about five innings per start. Additionally, his xFIP of 3.71 is almost three full runs higher than his ERA.

Before the season Stroman was projected to have an ERA around four, and I believe that was a reasonable projection. Stroman is a good pitcher, but he is nowhere near as good as he looks on paper.

Another reason to bet against the Mets is because of their lineup. Despite having many sluggers such as Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, and Jeff McNeil, the Mets lineup has struggled this season.

Outside of Lindor, every Mets position player has underperformed their projections offensively. That’s why the Mets lineup averages only 3.21 runs per game.

In the future I expect the New York lineup to average more runs per game. In the meantime, I would caution against betting on them as heavy favorites until they correct their hitting problems.

Nationals-Mets Pick

The Nationals are a very intriguing underdog on Saturday. They are a much better team than they are given credit for, and Ross is not as bad as he is perceived to be.

The Mets should be favored, but their lineup has not performed anywhere close to expectations.

Additionally, Stroman is much more vulnerable this season than his sub-one ERA suggests. I like the Nats to win outright at +183, and I would bet them up to +165.

Pick: Nationals ML +183 (down to +165)

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