Gary | Wed 06/07/2016 - 11:36 EDT

MLB Pick Of The Week

MLB Pick Of The Week
The top two teams in the National League East meet in a four-game series leading into the all-star break, with the New York Mets seeking to utilize home-field advantage to close the gap on the division-leading Washington Nationals.

MLB Betting Lines Analysis & Series Prediction

By Bob Duff

Washington Nationals at New York Mets 

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Having just completed a three-game series with the Miami Marlins, the team chasing them in the National League East, the second-place New York Mets now set their sights on the only team ahead of them, the division-leading Washington Nationals, who come to Citi Field for a four-game series.

With Joe Ross banished to the disabled list by inflammation in his right shoulder, the Nationals still haven't announced their starting pitcher for Thursday's series opener, or their rotation for any of the four games for that matter, but it's expected that manager Dusty Baker will hand the ball to rookie Lucas Giolito to get things underway.

Considered by many scouting organizations to be the best pitching prospect in the minor leagues, Giolito made his major-league debut June 28 against the Mets and was rolling along quite nicely through four innings, allowing one hit and two walks, when an 83-minute rain delay ended his night. Gioloto, 21, was supposed to go back to the minors when Stephen Strasburg was activated from the disabled list last week, but remained on the roster when Ross was placed on the DL.

The Mets will go with veteran Bartolo Colon, 7-4, who is 3-1 with a 2.08 earned-run average and 1.10 WHIP in his last seven starts. He's allowed two or fewer runs in all of those starts. In 11 career games against the Nationals, Colon is 4-6 with a 3.15 ERA.

They'll follow with Noah Syndergaard, 9-3, who the Nationals chased after three innings on June 27, lighting him up for seven hits and five earned runs. Syndergaard is dealing with a small bone spur in his pitching elbow.

The Nationals swept a three-game series from the Mets June 27-29 in Washington, outscoring New York by a 19-6 margin and hold a 6-2 advantage in the season series.

After this four-game set, the teams don't meet again until Sept. 2, so if the Mets want to make some quick headway against the Nationals, the time is now. New York and Washington will face each other six times in the last month of the season.

The heart of Washington's batting order - 3-4-5 hitters Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos - were all named to the NL All-Star Team Tuesday, as was Strasburg. Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jeurys Familia were picked to the NL squad from the Mets, the first time New York will send multiple players to the mid-season classic in three years. Mets skipper Terry Collins will be in charge of the NL after winning the pennant last fall.

Jose Reyes, a Met from 2003-11, returned to the team Tuesday, batting leadoff and playing third base. He'll share time at third with Wilmer Flores and the Mets envision Reyes also seeing duty at second base, shortstop and center field. Flores will also be a man on the move. He's played at second base and first base in the two games since Reyes returned.

Pick: The Nationals 

Category : Sports Betting News

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