Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats at Mets (10/2-10/4)

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Gonzalez (11-8, 3.93 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34) – 7:10 PM ET, broadcast on MASN2

When you look at Gonzalez’s last start against the Phillies on September 27, the left-hander did a good job of producing the groundball outs. He was able to induce 11 groundball outs in the game, the most he has had in a start since August 10 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gonzalez got the no-decision in that game as he went five innings, gave up two runs on six hits.

While the 30-year-old has only given up more than three runs in three of his last ten starts, the walks continue to be an issue as Gonzalez has walked 66 batters this season and has walked two hitters or more in nine straight starts. Those walks are part of the reason why he has only gone past the sixth inning once in his last nine starts.

Against the Mets this season, Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA in three starts. Two of those outings have come at Citi Field, where he has given up one run in 11.2 innings. David Wright (.301, 5 HR, 17 RBI’s) is 6-for-19 against Gonzalez with a home run and four RBI’s.

With the Mets fighting for home field in the NLDS against the Dodgers next week, the pitcher who might be most effected by where the first two games are played is Syndergaard. The 23-year-old right-hander did have a great outing against the Reds last Sunday when he gave up two runs and struck out 11 batters over seven innings. However, he has not fared well outside of Queens this season.

In 12 road starts, Syndergaard is 2-5 with a 4.23 ERA, but he has a 7-2 record at home with a ERA of 2.59 in 11 outings. In three starts this month, he has averaged nine strikeouts per outing (27 total) and only walked one batter. According to Fangraphs, Syndergaard has an average velocity on his fastball of 97 miles per hour.

In two starts against the Nats this season, Syndergaard is 1-0 with 2.08 ERA. Back on August 2, he gave up two runs on seven hits and struck out 12 batters over eight innings in a 5-2 win. Anthony Rendon is 3-for-4 against him with a home run and a RBI.

Advantage: While Gonzalez has been good against the Mets in his career, this New York offense does a great job of making the pitcher work and drawing the pitch count. Plus, with the Nats struggling on offense, I like Syndergaard and the Mets to take game one.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup