Erick Fedde gets the call for the Nationals, while we don't yet know who will take the bump for the Mets.
Erick Fedde has a 5.27 ERA. He had a solid month of May, pitching to a 3.72 ERA, and was almost as good in June, when he produced a month-specific ERA of 4.05, but for the most part, 2022 was a very bumpy ride. In April, July, August, and September, Fedde's month-specific ERA was higher than 5.15. He simply had too many starts in which he couldn't get through four or five innings with minimal damage, often allowing three runs and occasionally getting blown out of the water. If you look at Fedde's full season of results and pitching lines, you'll see a handful of scoreless six-inning appearances and a number of five or 5 1/3-inning two-run appearances, but there are a lot of three- and four-run performances without the length (innings) needed to reduce his ERA. Workhorse pitchers who lack dominant stuff are able to go seven innings and give up three runs. That's not outstanding, but eating up innings while giving up three runs separates some pitchers from the other ones who give up three runs but can't go six full innings and notch a quality start. Fedde pitched more than six full innings (getting more than 18 outs in a start) only once this year, back on May 3 against the Colorado Rockies. He will need to figure out how he can pitch into the seventh inning and give the Nationals more length in 2023.
The Mets' lack of an announced starting pitcher suggests they will use a bullpen game for this contest, before hosting the San Diego Padres on Friday night in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series. The Mets, since they are playing Friday instead of getting the weekend off (which is what the Atlanta Braves will enjoy as National League East Division champions), will almost surely rest their frontline players so that they are fresh for Friday and the huge weekend of baseball in Queens. The Mets will begin their attempt to return to the World Series for the first time since 2015, when they lost to the Kansas City Royals.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Nationals-Mets MLB odds.
MLB Odds: Nationals-Mets Odds
Washington Nationals: +1.5 (no price listed)
New York Mets: -1.5 (no price listed)
Over: 8 (no price listed)
Under: 8 (no price listed)
Why The Nationals Could Cover the Spread
The Mets are likely to treat this as a spring training game and rest all their big guns before Friday's National League Wild Card Series against the Padres. The Mets looked like a spent team over the past weekend when they got swept by the Braves in Atlanta. They need to hit the reset button and give their best players a day off. Even a team as bad as the Nationals can take advantage of this situation.
Why The Mets Could Cover the Spread
The Mets might rest their starters, but their backups can still beat the Nationals, who have been one of the worst teams in the majors all season long and are the main reason the Philadelphia Phillies are in the playoffs. The Phillies' 16-3 record in 19 games against Washington is the number one reason the Phils will join the Mets in the National League wild card round this weekend. Philly will go to St. Louis to play the Cardinals. Never underestimate the ability of a bad team to lose a game it should probably win.
Final Nationals-Mets Prediction & Pick
You should stay away from this game, given the spring training dynamics involved. If you do see a price posted for this game and you want to make a pick, the Nationals could be available for plus money.
Final Nationals-Mets Prediction & Pick: Nationals +1.5