Series Preview: Nationals vs Mets

After winning two-of-three against the Twins, the Washington Nationals travel to New York to face a division rival, the New York Mets; the Nats will play three games in New York before heading back to D.C. when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Nationals needed a strong series after coming up empty against the Orioles, and posting zero runs in the two-game set. Washington started strong in Minnesota, winning the first two games but fell in the series finale 3-1.

In Minnesota, the Nationals played their best game of the season when they defeated the Twins 10-4. Chad Kuhl got the start, pitching 3 2/3 innings in the Nationals’ blowout win. However, it was the bats that propelled the Nationals past the Twins. Joey Meneses had four hits, and C.J Abrams knocked the first home run of his Nationals career. Unfortunately, the Nationals struggled in the series finale, as they only managed three hits in a close 3-1 loss.

Meanwhile, the Mets return home after a ten-game road trip. After starting slow, New York turned it around, going 7-3 on the road trip, sweeping the Athletics, winning two of three against the Dodgers, and splitting a four-game set with the Giants. The Nationals are lucky and won’t face former Nationals World Series champion Max Scherzer, as he was suspended for a questionable substance on his glove and is currently in the middle of his 10-game suspension. The Mets destroyed the Nationals last year, winning 14 of 19 games, including seven of nine at Citi Field. It is clearly a good time to take the momentum from Minnesota and win another series.

Currently, the Nationals sit at the bottom of the NL East with a 7-14 record, heading into this Mets series. Additionally, the Nationals have won six of their last 14-games (6-8) but are still on pace for a 100+ loss season for the second year. They need to get some wins pieced together to change that projection.

Tale of the Tape

Divisional Standings5th2nd
All-Time matchup record461-462462-461
Team Average.248 (13).242 (18)
Runs76 (28)112 (11)
Hits176 (22)185 (16)
Home Runs10 (30)26 (T-14)
K%18.3% (1)18.7% (2)
OBP.314 (18).339 (5)
ERA4.26 (16)4.16 (14)
WHIP1.36 (27)1.34 (18)
Run Differential-20 (23)19 (8)
Errors15 (T-4)6 (29)

Quick Hits

The Nationals have played as the underdog in each of their last ten games; they have posted a 3-7 record.

The Nationals have a 5-5 record when playing on the road.

Trevor Williams will pitch against his former team for the first time since being signed by the Nationals.

Tonight’s starter, Josiah Gray, will look to earn his second quality start of the season, as he’s posted a 3.74 ERA through four games, averaging 6.6 strikeouts per start.

The Nationals still have trouble hitting home runs, as they rank last in the league with 10 homers.

The Nationals have the third-lowest slugging percentage in baseball (.341), but Washington owns the 13th-best batting average in the MLB (.249).

Scouting the lineup

Projected starting lineupABBAHHRRBIOPSWAR
CF Brandon Nimmo80.35028213.9550.1
RF Starling Marte71.2391716.6710.1
SS Francisco Lindor86.22119418.7981.2
1B Pete Alonso90.267241023.9580.7
LF Jeff McNeil81.2962418.8260.7
DH Daniel Vogelbach40.2501018.7870.2
3B Brett Baty21.238502.5110.0
C Francisco Alvarez27.148412.407-0.3
2B Luis Guillorme38.2631002.6670.3

The Mets have a scary lineup on paper, with all-star Pete Alonso leading the way. Alonso already has ten home runs to start his 2023 campaign. The first basemen had one of the best rookie years in recent history, and he has remained consistent. Last season, the slugger had a .271, average, which was the highest of his career. He also finished with a 143 wRC+ and 4.0 fWAR. He finished eighth in NL MVP voting and continues to shine. Meanwhile, Francisco Lindor is a franchise-caliber player and adds value to the infield. In 161 games, Lindo recorded 170 hits and hammered 20 homers while slashing .230/.412/.734. In addition, he finished top ten in NL MVP voting. Many Mets fans were excited when the Mets chose to promote top prospect Francisco Alvarez from Triple-A Syracuse. Although Alvarez wasn’t expected until later in the season, Mets catcher Omar Narvaez suffered a strained calf. The prospect started slowly, as he went 1-for-15 with no walks in his first 15 at-bats, but he recently hit his first home run and is starting to let the nerves go by him. Alvarez has some trouble behind the plate, but his bat is scary when he’s on time. Starling Marte had his best year since 2019, statistically last season, as he slashed 292/.347/.468, with 16 home runs and finished 19th in NL MVP voting. He recorded a 136 wRC and a 3.0 fWAR. The Mets have some reliable players on their roster, and it’ll be interesting to see how they match up against Nationals pitching.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tues 4/25 – Josiah Gray (0-4) 3.74 ERA vs. Jose Butto (0-0) 1.80 ERA

Wed 4/26 – MacKenzie Gore (2-1) 3.43 ERA vs. Kodai Senga (3-0) 4.29 ERA

Fri 4/21 – Trevor Williams (1-1) 3.52 ERA vs. Joey Lucchesi (1-0) 0.0 ERA

Betting Nuggets

Favorite: Mets (-210)

Underdog: Nationals (+170)

Over/Under: 8

Total: 8.5 runs

Broadcast Information

Television: Nationals fans can watch all three games against the Mets on MASN or MASN2. Wesednay’s matchup against the Mets’ will be on National television, as MLB Network will broadcast the game.  Bob Carpenter will handle play-by-play duties, with Kevin Frandsen as the color analyst. Dan Kolko will report from the field. MASN’s television territory covers all or parts of six states and the District of Columbia, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Charlotte, N.C., including Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Local Radio: 106.7 is the flagship station of the Washington Nationals. Find all listings here. Play-by-play broadcasters Dave Jageler and Charlie Slowes will call the action. All games will be available to listen to on the radio.

Prediction: The Nationals will continue their losing skid and get swept on the road by the New York Mets. (Even without Scherzer on the mound.)

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