New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals
Moneyline: WAS -150/NYM +140
Series: WAS -105/NYM -125
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Patrick Corbin (4-1, 2.91 ERA) vs. Drew Gagnon (1-0, 4.09 ERA)
What once looked like a very promising campaign has quickly begun to spiral downward as the Mets enter Monday's series opener with the Nationals amid a five-game losing streak on the heels of being the first team since 2017 to get swept by the league-worst Miami Marlins.
It's gotten so bad that there have been rumblings that manager Mickey Callaway could get fired if the losing continues -- perhaps as early as this evening. For a gambler, it's crucial to try and figure out how a team will respond to such monumental ramifications.
On the surface, it seems like Callaway is well-liked by the players but it could be the performance of his novice starting pitcher tonight, Gagnon, that plays the largest role in the outcome. And that provides a lot of uncertainty.
The second-year right-hander will be making just his 12th appearance in the majors and only his second career start. Gagnon's logged 23 innings up to this point with the big league club and the results haven't been anything special, recording a 4.70 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.
At least he's been better this year compared to last, holding opposing hitters to a .244 batting average en route to crafting an acceptable 4.09 ERA. The Mets will definitely hope for something in line with that considering Gagnon's only previous start at this level -- his major league debut last July -- was rough to say the least. He failed to get past the fifth inning and was blasted for six runs on seven hits, including a pair of homers. Interestingly, he's only allowed one long ball since.
While Gagnon has plenty of experience starting from his time in the minors, it also remains to be seen where his pitch count will be and if he gets a long leash from Callaway, hence the uncertainty.
On the other end of the spectrum, going against the Mets is a left-hander who has been as steady as anyone. That would be Corbin, whom the Mets have already seen three other times this year.
Based on those meetings, he's someone the Mets would rather not see, especially with the offense sputtering like it is. They managed only three total hits -- three! -- in their last two games, both shutout defeats. Corbin, meanwhile, has churned out a quality start in all but one of his nine turns in the rotation thus far.
He succeeded with such in all three assignments against the Mets, including his most recent start last weekend. In that outing, Corbin registered season highs in innings (eight) and strikeouts (11) while yielding a measly run. In all, New York has scored only six times in 20 innings with the former Arizona Diamondback on the hill this season.
How I Would Bet This Game
If you're wagering anything on this game, it should somehow involve backing Washington. You cannot trust the Mets and their slumping lineup right now, and with the way Corbin's been dealing all season, a -150 price tag is reasonable enough to have action on the left-hander.
Should You Bet The Series?
Surprisingly, the Mets are actually favored for the series but that wouldn't be a wise bet given their current predicament. While the Nationals have been just as disappointing, at least they come into Citi Field with momentum after winning their series with the Chicago Cubs. At -105 odds, the Nats series bet has fine value.