If you are betting baseball on Independence Day, you better be ready for an early start, with the Mets and the Nationals getting started just after 11:00 am locally and 8:00 am in Las Vegas.
This is the middle encounter of three-game set and Washington has been undistinguished in their recent play, with a mixture of meager pitching and offense. New York has been showing signs of life with latest upsurge and need to keep churning, being seven games out for the last wild card slot.
What should you consider for this early July 4th divisional rivalry against the MLB odds, let’s peruse through the information first.
For a team with so many pitching questions, many due to injury, Seth Lugo was a breath of fresh air at the right time. After overcoming elbow ailment that kept him on the sidelines for two months, Lugo made four starts in June and was 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA. The right-hander is curveball reliant and has some of the best spin rates in the majors. Like anybody that tosses this many breaking balls, you are going to toss enough cement mixers and give up hits.
More was expected from Joe Ross (4-3, 5.17 ERA) than he’s delivered. Opponents are wrapping Ross for a .301 batting average (.263 is career mark) and largely it has been a lack of execution on his part. The high ERA hides the kind of improvement he’s made, giving up two or fewer earned runs in four of his past five outings and lower his ERA just over a run. To beat New York, Ross will need mid-90’s heater and curveball around the knees and working the corners.