SPORTS CHAT PLACE
The New York Mets and the Washington Nationals meet in an NL East matchup on opening day from Nationals Park on Thursday.
The New York Mets will look to erase yet another disappointing season from their memories after finishing at 77-85, missing the playoffs for a 5th straight season, finishing 3rd in the NL East. The Mets will hope for some better luck this time around after Francisco Lindor had a down season in year one in a Mets uniform and it doesn’t help matters that Jacob deGrom is starting the year on the shelf with a shoulder injury. The Mets are hoping the answer lies in signing Max Scherzer, but Scherzer is in the twilight of his career and the Mets aren’t shelling out the dough for lacklustre, the expectations are once again sky high for the Mets. The Mets also added the likes of Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar to bolster the lineup as well as help the defense while Chris Bassitt was brought in from Oakland to eat up some starts and try to hold down the fort while deGrom nurses his shoulder. Tylor Megill will start here and was 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA and 99 strikeouts last season.
The Washington Nationals will hope to start the ascent out of the NL East basement after back-to-back last place finishes in the division since winning the World Series in 2019, finishing last year at 65-97. The Nationals will still retain the services of arguably the best player in the NL East in Juan Soto and names like Josh Bell, Alcides Escobar and Luis Garcia compliment the likes of Lane Thomas, and Keibert Ruiz inbolstering a young Nationals rotation. The odd one out when I say young is Nelson Cruz who isn’t getting younger and will likely DH a ton for the Nats this season. The Nationals do have a respectable rotation featuring Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Josiah Gray who was the centerpiece of the Trea Turner/Max Scherzer deal to the Dodgers last season. The problem is that the Nationals look like a team remaining in a rebuild with a star in Soto who won’t be happy unless moved to a contender or financially compensated to stay, which could produce an MLB-record contract coming his way. Patrick Corbin is expected to start here and was 9-16 with a 5.82 ERA and 143 strikeouts last season.
I get the case to be made either way here, but personally it’s a case of not wanting to put a dollar of my money on either of these teams. With that said, I’m leaning towards the over as these is still some pop in these respective lineups and the starting pitching matchup really is nothing to write home about. I think both starters could get chased fairly early here, so give me the over.