Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
Dates: Thursday, June 15 – Sunday, June 18, 2017
Location: Citi Field
Dusty Baker’s squad owns a comfortable 8.5 game lead atop the NL East heading into Thursday’s opener, but the club enters it not playing great baseball. They managed one win in six home games against the Rangers and Braves, and will now look to get back in a groove on the road where they’ve won 21 of 33 games ( $617 ).
How the heck is New York still in the running for a wild card slot as hamstrung the injury bug has left its roster this season? Fresh off a series win over the Cubs that saw them take the deciding game by blowing up for five runs in the 8th inning, the Mets will look to inch closer to .500 as a host while at the same time get back in the division race.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers - Thursday, June 15, 2017, 10:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Gio Gonzalez vs. Steven Matz
Gio gets the nod in the series opener looking to improve upon his 5-1 record and impressive 2.91 ERA. Each of his last three turns have been of quality moving his quality start percentage to 69.2 for the season. He’s been more hittable on the road however evidenced by his 4.38 ERA and .257 BAA. Regardless, Washington has won four of his last five starts against the Mets.
Matz was dominant in his return to the bigs tossing seven innings of 1 ER ball at the Braves in Atlanta to secure his first win since August of last season. The lefty has proven to be a valuable arm in New York’s rotation when healthy, but he’s been unable to avoid the injury bug. He’s split his two career starts against the Nats ( 1.80 ERA ), and will no doubt be psyched to make his 2017 debut at Citi Field.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Friday, June 16, 2017, 7 p.m. ET ( ESPN )
Max Scherzer vs. Robert Gsellman
The Nationals are the No. 1 ranked team in the league when it comes to quality starts. Mad Max has played a large role in helping the team attain that ranking by tossing quality efforts in 84.6 percent of his starts. He’s been stellar on the road going 5-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 0.79 WHIP, but has had issues with NY’s lineup this season evidenced by his 5.14 ERA and .259 BAA through a pair of starts. He’s 4-2 with a 1.90 ERA and .154 BAA lifetime at Citi Field.
With New York getting a bunch of young arms back in the starting rotation, it was announced that Gsellman would be the odd man out and get sent to the bullpen. But the righty has made Terry Collins second guess himself after he put forth quality efforts in each of his last four trips to the bump. He’s 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over his last 19 innings, and could solidify his rotation spot with another strong outing.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers - Saturday, June 17, 2017, 4:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Stephen Strasburg vs. Seth Lugo
Strasburg gets the benefit of throwing at the Mets a game removed from Scherzer giving them hell. The righty has flourished this season pitching to a 7-2 record with Washington coming out triumphant in nine of his 13 overall starts. He’s been at his best on the road where he owns a 5-1 record and 2.53 ERA. The Mets are batting .203 against him through 13 career starts, and he owns a career 1.97 ERA at Citi Field.
Lugo showed no rust whatsoever in his return to the major leagues limiting the Braves to just six hits and 1 ER through seven crisp innings of work. He also racked up six strikeouts and only issued two free passes. The Nats represent a much stiffer opponent than that of Atlanta, so we’ll truly get to see just how far he’s come along in his second start of the season.
Game 4 Probable Pitchers - Sunday, June 18, 2017, 1:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Joe Ross vs. Jacob deGrom
Ross flirted with danger in his first four innings against Atlanta to kick off the week before getting hammered for three runs in the sixth. He was taken off the hook for the loss due to his offense erupting for seven runs the rest of the way. The youngster has been both incredible and tough to watch since being recalled at the end of May. He’s also been terrible on the road ( 8.59 ERA ), and was rocked for 5 ER and 2 HR in a home start against the Mets back on April 30.
deGrom had his team and fantasy backers scratching their heads trying to figure out what was wrong, but the young stud put all their fears to rest by tossing a complete game five hitter at the Cubs on Monday. The win moved him to 5-3 for the season and lowered his ERA to 4.33. He’s been at his best at Citi Field where he’s 2-2 with a 3.35 ERA and .225 BAA over six starts. The Mets have split his two outings against Washington this season with the one at home not of quality.