The New York Mets will clash with the Washington Nationals as the rivals kick off a three game divisional series Monday evening from Citi Field. The Nationals will send 31-year old right-hander Jeremy Hellickson to the mound, and the Mets will hand the ball to 29-year old right-hander Jacob deGrom. The Mets recorded the three game road sweep against the Nationals earlier this month.
Hellickson Recalled for First Start of Season
Jeremy Hellickson has been recalled from the Minors for his first start of the season in place of A.J. Cole. Hellickson spent time with both the Phillies and Orioles last season and he struggled, posting a weak 5.43 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP to go with an 8-11 record. He allowed four runs in 6.1 innings in his lone start against New York last season, and overall he has had trouble with the Mets in his career, going 2-4 with an abysmal 7.81 ERA in eight starts. The veteran right-hander owns a 4.12 career ERA in eight seasons.
Ryan Zimmerman is stuck in a big slump at the plate, recording only two hits with zero RBI’s in his last five games. The 33-year old first baseman is currently hitting a poor .122 with one homer and five RBI’s on the season. Zimmerman was quiet against the Mets last week, going 0 for 9, and he has driven in 95 runs 182 career games against the division rivals. The Nationals bats have been quiet after a strong start to the season, averaging only 4.13 runs per game, ranking them 16th overall. They feature a solid 3.69 team ERA, placing them 13th in the Majors.
Jacob deGrom Seeks Second Win vs. Nats this Season
Jacob deGrom will get the nod for the fourth time of the season, aiming for win number three. DeGrom conceded four runs in six innings to the Marlins in his latest effort, and he finished with the no-decision in a game the Mets won. The 6-foot-4 right-hander is off to a solid start, allowing only six earned runs in 17.2 innings, resulting in a 3.06 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP to go with a 2-0 record. He faced Washington in his second start of the season and he was solid, limiting them to only two runs (one earned) in six innings in an 8-2 Mets win. He owns terrific career numbers against the division rivals, standing at 6-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 13 starts. Bryce Harper is 9 for 26 with one RBI against deGrom, while Anthony Rendon is 2 for 21, and Ryan Zimmerman is 5 for 19 with seven RBI’s.
Adrian Gonzalez is swinging a hot bat, driving in eight runs in his last five games. The 35-year old first baseman is now hitting .242 with one homer, and he ranks second in team RBI’s with nine. Gonzalez smashed a grand slam against the Nationals earlier this season, and he owns a .294 average with 37 RBI’s in 65 career games against Washington. The Mets are singing the bats well, and they are now averaging 4.77 runs, good for 12th in the Majors. Their pitching has been dominant, sporting a 2.78 team ERA, good for second in the Major Leagues.
The Washington Nationals are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 games overall.
- 1-4 in their last 5 games against a starter with a WHIP below 1.15.
- 1-5 in their last 6 games after allowing more than 5 runs in their previous game.
The New York Mets are:
- 8-2 in deGrom’s last 10 starts against the Nationals.
- 4-1 in deGrom’s last 5 starts overall.
- 9-2 in their last 11 home games.
I am taking the Mets in this battle. Jacob deGrom just limited the Nationals to two runs (one earned) in six innings last week, and he features a stifling 2.68 career ERA against the rivals. Also, the Mets bullpen is dominating right now, featuring a Major League leading 1.62 ERA. Furthermore, Hellickson owns a terrible 7.81 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets, and overall he struggled last season, posting a 5.43 ERA.
Pick: New York Mets
Jacob deGrom has shut down the Nationals throughout his career and Mets have only scored a combined four runs in their last two games. The Nationals lineup is only hitting a combined .213 against deGrom, plus the Nats aren’t swinging the bat well, and the under is 5-1 in the Nationals’ last six games overall. The Mets bullpen continues to shine and deGrom is also always dependable, plus the under is 5-0 in deGrom’s last five home starts against the Nationals.