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Weekend MLB Series Preview: Washington Nationals Vs. New York Mets
Friday Pitchers: Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.83 ERA) vs. Matt Harvey (9-7, 3.16 ERA)
Gio Gonzalez has faced the Mets more than any other team over his 8 year career and has impressive numbers to back him up. In 15 starts the former All-Star has overwhelmed the Mets to the tune of an ERA of 2.88 ERA, .200 batting average and record of 9-4. His numbers in 2015 against the Mets are even better, going 2-0 with an ERA of 1.38 and 13 strikeouts over 13 innings pitched.
The Mets young ace has been steady in his return season from Tommy John surgery. Compared to his All-Star campaign in 2013, it may be a little underwhelming but still good enough to keep the Mets in the NL East and Wild Card race. Harvey is 2-1 against the Nats in 2015, including two games where he did not allow a run.
Probable Pitchers for Saturday’s Game: Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA)
Ross made his MLB debut in the beginning of June and over his first 5 starts, he managed to hang with the big leaguers. Over five starts, he has a WHIP of 0.95 and has strikeout per nine innings ratio greater than 9. He has already faced the Mets in his career, posting a quality start in a losing effort. And as he continues to impress, the Nationals can kept their former number one pick, Stephen Strasburg, off the mound until he is fully healthy.
The Mets star rookie in 2014, has become a certified All-Star in 2015 and should garner some serious consideration for the NL CY Young award. This will be the fourth time in 2015 that deGrom has faced the Nationals. He will look to even up his 1-2 mark so far this season, but has been solid over the starts with a respectable 3.63 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 17.1 innings pitched.
Probable Pitches for Sunday’s Game: Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 3.36 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (5-5, 2.70 ERA)
Zimmerman is more of a command pitcher than most of his Washington counterparts, but his presence in the pitching rotation cannot be understated. His ability to limit walks and the long ball have been his strengths over his career and are apparent over his 22 starts against the Mets. Going 8-5 with an ERA of 2.96 Zimmerman has only allowed 24 walks and 9 home runs over 130.2 innings pitched.
The big rookie has so far shown some serious flashes of excellence over his 14 starts career starts. The former top prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays has been living up to the acclaim. Already with three starts recording double digit strikeouts, he should continue to improve the rest of the season and could one day be an elite pitcher and All-Star. He has faced the Nationals once in his career to mixed results, limiting them to just one run but allowing 10 base runners over 5 inning pitched in a no decision.
Something To Watch…
The Best Hitter vs. The Worst Lineup in the NL
The Mets are lucky to have such great pitching staff, since their offense is dead last in the league in runs scored in 2015. The Nationals have the best hitter in the National League in 2015 with Bryce Harper, who leads the NL in home runs and is posting an otherworldly OPS of 1.153.
If both pitchers lose control and the game becomes a slugfest, the Nationals have a huge edge over the Mets who only have a few legitimate hitters, primarily Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson, but have a lineup that pales in comparable to that of their division rival. The Nationals lineup ranks fifth in the NL in runs scored, but would be higher if not for injuries to Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon and Denard Span. As the Nationals lineup hopefully gets healthier over August, the teams rank should climb and the Nationals will once again be arguably the best-rounded team in the Majors.
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