This week’s Lock of the Week involves a tilt between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets at Citi Field in Queens. It is an intriguing game because it is easily the marquee pitching matchup of the night, Max Scherzer against Matt Harvey. Two great pitchers leading their teams against NL East rivals in cavernous Citi Field. These factors point to taking the under in the game, which is just 6 runs, but still I think we’re looking at a 1-0 or 2-1 game.
A closer look at these two pitchers will really solidify the choice to go under on this one. Scherzer has a 1.26 ERA in four starts despite suffering two hard-luck losses. He has struck out at least 8 men in three of four starts (6 in the other). On the season, the ratio is 29 Ks to 4 BBs. Scherzer has already faced the Mets this year, going 7.2 innings without yielding an earned run. The total in that game was just 4 runs, and tonight’s matchup will likely be more of the same.
Matt Harvey has been differently dominant in the early going. His 3.04 ERA is actually high by Harvey-standards but he is coming off a win on the big stage against the Yankees at the Stadium. He went 8.2 innings in that game and his competitive nature was clearly on display as he was visibly bothered when Terry Collins came out to the mound to pull him. Regardless it was his best start of the season and I expect him to build on it tonight. He is 5-0 with a 0.82 ERA against the Nationals. The K/BB ratio for Harvey is also ridiculous – even better than Scherzer’s – 31:3. He hasn’t struck out less than 7 guys in any start.
These two guys are pretty similar and should battle hard against each other. Runs will be at a premium, as with most pitchers’ duels. Both guys have strikeout stuff, which will especially bode well for Harvey – only the Astros have struck out more as a team than the Nats (193 times). It should be a great game, and I probably give the edge to Harvey, however that is far from certain. That being said, the Lock of the Week is the Under in the May 1st game featuring the NY Mets and the Washington Nationals.