Washington (51-35) at NY Mets (46-38)
When: Thursday, July 7th 2016
Where: Citi Field, New York, NY
Time: 7:10 ET | TV: MASN, SNY
The Washington Nationals and New York Mets wrap up the first half of the season with a key four-game series at Citi Field in New York. Both teams come in hot with the Mets winning six of their last seven after getting swept by the Nationals on June 27-29. Washington salvaged the final of three games against Milwaukee yesterday and have won eight of their last 11. New York now trails the Nats by only four games in the National League East. Former Met Daniel Murphy is a scorching 15-for-35 with four homers and 11 RBIs in nine games against New York – including 5-for-12 with two HRs, five RBIs and four runs scored in Washington’s three-game sweep last week. The Mets’ Wilmer Flores recorded his second two-homer game in four days in New York’s 4-2 win over Miami on Wednesday afternoon, improving to 9-for-17 with seven RBIs and six runs scored in those games. Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman has answered an 0-for-14 stretch by going 3-for-7 with a homer in his last two games.
Pitchers: Nationals – Lucas Giolito (0-0, 0.00 ERA) | Mets – Bartolo Colon (7-4, 2.87)
Lucas Giolito made his major league debut last week against the Mets and pitched one-hit ball over four innings before his night was ended by rain. The rookie’s lone blemish came at the hands of a bloop single by Curtis Granderson. Giolito relied on his mid-to-high 90s fastball and active curveball to subdue the Mets in the previous outing.
43-year old Bartolo Colon has maybe been the most consistent Mets pitcher this year and will make his team-leading 18th start. Colon improved to 4-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his last eight starts after allowing two runs on four hits in six innings of a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. The veteran split a pair of decisions versus Washington in May, rebounding from issuing a season-high five walks in a 7-1 setback on May 18th to yield one run on five hits in seven innings of a 7-1 victory five days later.
Colon just keeps on chugging and the Mets are right behind the Nationals in the standings because of him. The Mets were embarrassed last week and will be looking for revenge this weekend in hopes of getting even closer to Washington. Giolito was impressive the first time through the Mets’ batting order, but New York will be ready this time. I like the Mets to take the first game.
Pick: Mets -115