Washington Nationals at Mets Series Preview (5/17-5/19)

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May 15, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits solo home run in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
May 15, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits solo home run in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
May 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

Max Scherzer (4-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (3-2, 2.53) – 7:10 p.m ET, MASN/MLB Network

In his last start against the Detroit Tigers, Scherzer accomplished more history in a Washington Nationals uniform. In a complete game win, he gave up two runs on six hits and struck out 20 batters, becoming just the fourth pitcher ever to accomplish that feat. Out of the 119 pitches he threw, 96 of them were for strikes.

It was a huge contrast compared to the outing he had before the Detroit game when he gave up four home runs in a loss to the Cubs. Even though Scherzer has given up 11 home runs this season, teams are hitting just .237 against him. But, because the Nats’ rotation is off to a great start, that’s the highest opponents’ batting average among the five starters.

Against the Mets last season, Scherzer was 1-2 with a 1.82 ERA in four starts. He had a 0.56 ERA in two outings at Citi Field, including a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts in his final start of the season. Curtis Granderson is 7-for-23 (.304) against Scherzer with three doubles, a home run, and three RBI’s.

As for Syndergaard, he has been dominant this season for the Mets. He has given up two runs or fewer in six of his eight outings. In his last start against the Dodgers, he went eight innings, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out six, walked one, and hit two home runs in the win.

When you watch Syndergaard, his fastball is electric. He has an average velocity of 98 miles per hour on his fastball, which is the fastest in the league (according to Fangraphs). But, the pitch to watch is his slider, which teams are hitting a mere .130 against, according to Brooks Baseball.

Last season, in his rookie year, the 23-year-old right-hander was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three outings against the Nats and held them to a .194 batting average. Anthony Rendon is 3-for-7 against him with a home run.

Prediction: I expect this game to be a pitcher’s duel with runs coming at a premium for either side. Although Scherzer has been dominant against the Mets, he has given up a lot of home runs and that could come back to bite him against New York. If the Nats can steal bases against Syndergaard, who has allowed 14 steals this year, they have a great chance to win. However, I like the Mets to win this one, 3-2.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup

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