The New York Mets look to earn a sweep of the Washington Nationals on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Based on the first two games of the series, there is no love lost between these two NL East rivals. The Nationals are listed as -142 favorites to win Sunday’s game and salvage the series.
The Mets have been one of the best teams in baseball early in the season. With their wins over Washington on Thursday and Saturday, the Mets have won four in a row and are 6-1 on the season under first-year manager Mickey Calloway. A sweep of the Nationals early in the year could send a huge message throughout the rest of the division.
The Nationals, meanwhile, are 4-4 and in danger of dropping below .500 if they lose Sunday night. Washington actually won four in a row to start the season, including a three-game sweep of the Reds. But they have since lost two lopsided games to the Braves and fallen short against the Mets twice. Needless to say, they are desperate for a win.
New York Mets Seeking to Stay Hot
Sunday night, Matt Harvey will take the mound for the second time this season. He looked awfully impressive in his first start of the season, allowing just one hit and one walk in five shutout innings against the Phillies. It was just what Harvey needed to start the season after the last two years were huge disappointments that were plagued by injuries.
Of course, Harvey was pulled after five innings despite his strong effort, so Calloway may not have complete faith in Harvey just yet. He’ll also face to face a Washington lineup that’s hoping to bust out of an early-season slump. Anthony Rendon is a player to watch on Sunday, as he’s a career .391 hitter against Harvey. Oddly enough, Harvey owns Nationals star Bryce Harper, who is just 2 for 29 (.069) in his career against Harvey.
Washington Nationals Looking to Avoid Sweep
The Nationals will look to Tanner Roark to help them avoid the sweep. Roark went seven strong innings in his first start of the season against the Braves last week. He gave up just one run on four hits despite pitching in Atlanta’s hitter-friendly ballpark. He also has good career numbers against most of New York’s hitters.
Of course, the Mets haven’t shown too many weaknesses on offense this season. New York brings a balanced lineup from top to bottom. Yoenis Cespedes has helped lead the charge with three home runs on the season. Michael Conforto also came back early from injury at the start of this series, giving the Mets another impact offensive player.
The Mets have out-classed the Nationals during the first two games of this series, with their bullpen stealing the show with two excellent performances. But it’s hard to imagine the Nationals getting swept in their first home series of the season. Roark was on the mound for Washington’s last win, and he’ll be their good-luck charm again, helping the Nationals win a close, low-scoring game. Bet on the Nationals -142 to win on Sunday night.