Mets v Nationals
Prepare for a low-scoring affair when the Washington Nationals visit the New York Mets on Tuesday. A key reason: Neither club is in their offensive hot zone for this one. On the road, the Nationals have 15 fewer homers in just two fewer games than at home and a .259 away batting average compared to .266 at home (on base percentage: .318 versus .327 at home; slugging percentage .422 as opposed to .430). As for the Mets, they’re actually worse when hitting at home. They have 13 fewer homers (in four fewer games), a batting average that’s 17 points lower along with an OBP that’s 13 points lower and a slugging percentage that’s 37 points lower. Then there are the pitchers – both are throwing like aces. Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman is 10-8 with a 2.99 ERA and R.A. Dickey is a strong Cy Young Award candidate with an 18-4 record and a 2.64 ERA. Go for under 7.0 runs at 1.77 as the over (2.05) is unlikely to come through.
Padres v Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals will capture a victory on the road against the San Diego Padres. Although Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright has suffered through two shaky starts recently (11 runs in 7 2/3 innings), his second half has been a success. Since the All-Star break he has a respectable 6-4 record with a 3.30 ERA. Pitching against the fourth-worst offence in the National League in the third-lowest scoring stadium in the NL (Petco Park) should help him get back on track. As for the Padres Edinson Volquez, not only does he have to face the best offence in the NL, but he’s just completely fallen apart in the second half. In ten starts since the break, he has a woeful 5.77 ERA and he’s also battling a blister problem. Pick the Cardinals at 1.67 instead of the Padres at 2.20.