Jacob deGrom and the Mets will visit the nation’s capital Thursday night to help kick off the first of many series against their division rivals — the Washington Nationals.
In what should be a low-scoring Opening Day affair, Vegas has the total set at a meager 6.5, with the road team being slight favorites at -145.
The run line — meaning the favorite would have to win by two or more runs to cover (displayed as -1.5) — is set at +125 in favor of New York, providing additional value for Mets backers looking for a better price.
Tale of the Tape
A pair of Cy Young winners will take the bump Thursday, as deGrom will match up against Nats right-hander Max Scherzer.
deGrom has been his typical superb self vs Washington, posting a 2.61 career ERA to go along with a 1.06 WHIP and 11.61 K/9.
Scherzer has been similarly dominant, as he’s 12-5 vs the Amazin’s with nearly identical metrics as the aforementioned deGrom.
Thus, this one will come down to who can get more length out of their starter (although I don’t expect either manager to push their ace past 85 pitches or so) as neither team is all that confident in their bullpen to get nine clean outs.
The Mets will be without Seth Lugo to begin the season, as a bone spur in his elbow will sideline the swiss-army knife reliever through most of April, if not longer.
New York will likely rely on newly acquired reliever Trevor May to get big outs in this one, who will then hand the ball off to the unpredictable Edwin Diaz.
Manager Luis Rojas and company are banking on a bounce-back season for Diaz, who could really help solidify the back of the bullpen if he can return to his former Mariners self.
With all this said, I’m backing the road team here, as I think they hold too decisive an edge offensively, especially with the off-season additions of Francisco Lindor and James McCann.
Their lineup is one of, if not the deepest in baseball, and they’ll tattoo whoever Davey Martinez deploys post-Scherzer, as I have no confidence in their bullpen which ranked near the bottom in every major category last season.
Plus, the Mets are notoriously an amazing Opening Day team, as they’re a league-best 39-20 (.661) on such occasions.
That’s a trend I can get behind.
The Pick: Mets -145