MLB Predictions 2012: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals

The New York Mets (56-63) and Washington Nationals (74-45) will continue a National League East series on Saturday night at Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET

New York Mets at Washington Nationals 

The New York Mets are 11-8 when playing on Saturday this year

New York has now lost seven of its last 10 games after suffering a 6-4 setback to Washington on Friday night, with the club possessing a dismal 7-17 mark against winnings teams during the second half of the season.  The Mets have been a solid offense away from the Big Apple, ranking fourth in the majors in averaging 4.83 runs per game on the road entering the series.  New York is 8-13 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 this season.

Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (9-6, 3.67 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last four outings, picking up a 6-5 home victory over the Atlanta Braves last time out.  The left-hander is 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 11 road outings, surrendering nine home runs in 65.1 combined innings.  In five career starts versus the Nationals, Niese has tallied a 2-0 record and 2.93 ERA, including a no-decision effort in a 5-4 road loss on July 17.

Washington still holds a four-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East division, with outfielder Michael Morse providing the big lift in last night’s victory with a grand slam.  “All these games are big games,” commented Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.  The Nationals have produced a stellar 21-6 record in their last 27 games, which includes a 13-4 mark during the month of August.  Washington is 9-8 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this season.

Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (7-7, 3.74 ERA) has led the club to consecutive victories, including a 6-5 road win over the Arizona Diamondbacks last time out.  The right-hander is 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA in nine home outings, issuing 19 walks and striking out 50 batters in 59.1 combined innings.  In three career outings versus the Mets, Jackson has tallied a 1-0 record and 5.29 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Mets due to their 10-2 mark in Niese’s last 12 Saturday starts, while the Nationals are 1-6 in Jackson’s last seven efforts against divisional foes.

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