Tuesday’s Best Bet

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Tuesday MLB Betting Preview
New York Mets at Washington Nationals (7:05 p.m. ET)

On a day where MLB bettors better have an extra glass of water beside them for all the -200 and above that's out there on Tuesday's betting board, easily the highest profile pitching matchup of the evening is this deGrom vs Scherzer contest in the nation's capital.

The Mets were able to grab Game 1 of this series in rather dominant fashion on Labor Day (7-3 win) as they cruised the entire way with the only blemish being a 3-run HR given up in the 9th. It was a much needed win for this Mets team that's desperately trying to stay relevant in the NL Wildcard chase, and a series win against the Nats would go a ways in helping that cause. A win tonight would guarantee a series victory for New York, but it won't be easy trying to go through Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer.

MLB Odds: New York (+124) vs Washington (-134); Total set at 7.5

September is a month where a sizable portion of the betting market shifts their attention away from baseball, and with plenty of chalky lines in baseball during the month, it's an easy shift away from the diamond for most. So getting a potential gem of a pitching matchup tonight in this game is a rare treat, especially since it's just Tuesday and there is still 48 hours until action on the gridiron gets going again.

Scherzer is a guy who's been eased back into the rotation since returning from the IL, never going more than 4.1 innings of work so far in his two outings. Washington won both of those games easily (over Pittsburgh and Baltimore), but Scherzer did allow a HR in each of them as he's still trying to find his form and hopefully peak at the end of the month/early October when he'll likely be called upon to start the NL Wild Card game.

New York is hoping to be that team that opposes Washington in that winner-take-all game, but for now, it's up to them to win these games to really climb back into contention. At four games behind the Cubs for the final Wild Card spot, and three other teams (Philadelphia, Arizona, Milwaukee) all even or better than the Mets in that regard, there is zero margin for error for the Mets, and they can't afford to keep dropping deGrom starts like they have been; regardless of who's opposing him on the mound. New York has lost three of deGrom's last four starts overall, with the last two being games where they could only manage a single run offensively. That's wasting the best of the best in terms of who they've got throwing out there and they just can't do that anymore.

Those recent losses in deGrom's starts have influenced this line a touch, but at the same time, with Scherzer still seemingly not at 100% and being eased into things, I'm surprised the Nats are laying 30 cents on the dollar tonight. Sure, they've got the better record, are the better team, and do have their ace on the hill, but their ace is a little compromised right now, and they are up against another elite level pitcher on a team that's extremely capable of beating the best starters in the league. Scherzer is 12-4 SU in his last 16 starts in December which doesn't hurt the 75%+ of bettors that have already come in on the Nats side, but I don't believe the Mets are going to continue to waste quality efforts from deGrom and it's a +120ish price on New York tonight. Sign me up.

New York has a good recent history of beating quality pitchers with a 7-0 SU run going against a guy who's WHIP is below 1.15, and with a 21-6 SU run going against righties, the Mets have done alright in similar spots. They are 4-1 SU in their last five on the road against a winning team, and coupled with Washington being on a 2-5 SU run in Scherzer's last seven home starts against a winning team, and I'll gladly back deGrom and the Mets as a road underdog tonight.

Best Bet: New York Mets ML