July 20, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)
Tonight's pick is a smaller 2% wager.
Take the OVER 7 total runs in NY Mets vs. Washington Nationals risking 2% of the bankroll.
(Harvey and Gonzalez must start for wager to have action)
When the New York Mets and Washington Nationals have squared off recently, it has been more of a pitching duel between these two clubs and runs have been hard to come by. Both Matt Harvey and Gio Gonzalez bring impressive scoreless streaks against their respective opponents in this contest and given the way that both offenses had performed (or didn't perform) this weekend, many may feel that another low scoring matchup tonight is inevitable. There is a lot of evidence that points to this being a low scoring contest, however our experience has taught us that rarely are things ever as simple as they appear. Part of being a professional handicapper is knowing when recent trends are going to be broken and being able to look at a particular matchup impartially and by doing that in this contest, we believe many who will be betting the Under will be disappointed at the final out.
While both starting pitchers have a lot going for them in this contest, both bullpen for all intent and purpose are "dead". The Mets played an 18 inning game yesterday which completely used up their reserves in the process! Meanwhile the Nationals only used Ace Max Scherzer for 6 innings against the dodgers yesterday and had to use their relievers for 3 full innings. The Nationals bullpen also gave up 4 runs, which ultimately sealed the Nationals fate so while both pens will likely be fatigued; the Nationals pen will also likely be short on confidence as well. For this game to stay Under the short total, both Gonzalez and Harvey will likely need to be perfect in their starts and we don't believe that will happen.
Both hurlers will be coming into this game making their first starts since the All-Star Break. While many view the break as a chance to get some much needed rest mid-way through the season, for a pitcher, all it does is disrupt their normal routine and rest cycle. We wouldn't be surprised if both starting pitchers come out a bit sluggish in the early going and aren't as sharp as we have been accustomed to seeing. A couple of runs in the early part of this game could set the tone and lead us into a favorable position when the bullpens do finally take over.
We also believe both offenses will have more success than people may think tonight and prove a point that they are not as bad they had showed over the weekend. Much has been made of Mets' lack of offense and struggles with runners in scoring positions and for good reasons and that was never on display more than yesterday. However, with the Mets ultimately having won that game in the 18th inning yesterday, we expect their bats to be feeling relieved and be looser and more confident at the plate tonight.
Both of these pitchers, while they have been great in some instances this season, both have shown their ability to struggle on the mound as well. Juan Lagares and Daniel Murphy have both had success against Gio Gonzales and both players will start tonight. Meanwhile, even though Ian Desmond has been in somewhat of a hitting slump recently, he has hit Harvey well in the past and could use him to break out.
On the defensive side, we wouldn't be surprised if fielding errors played a role in the outcome of this contest as both teams are dealing with a number of injuries on their roster and have had to use backup players in the field. We have seen many times already this season that errors often result in exaggerated scorelines. All it takes is one productive inning from either side to push this number close to the Total.
These two teams are division rivals which means that this could be a closely contest game. Even a game tied at 3-3 at the end of 9 innings means that at the very least we will get a push, although there is a solid chance we could come away with a win. Unearned runs, errors, extra innings, fatigue, there are numerous situations that are likely to contribute to this being a higher scoring contest than many expect.
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