After splitting the Subway Series with the Yankees last night, the Mets made the short trip back to Queens, where they will play host to the Nationals tonight for a divisional series. We’ll preview the matchup before going over which player prop market I’ll be targeting for my play in this one.
It took a four-run ninth inning that was capped off with a walk-off single, but the Washington Nationals beat the Rockies 5-4 and secured their second consecutive series win. Interestingly enough, CJ Abrams’ single to win the game was the only hit to produce a run that inning, as the Nationals were able to capitalize off the Rockies' ineptitude by scoring on a hit by pitch, a ground out, and bases loaded walk that tied the game at four.
As the Nationals look to secure their sixth win over their last seven games tonight, they will have young right-hander Josiah Gray on the mound for his 21st start of the season. The All-Star picked up his 7th win of the year in his most recent outing against the Giants as he worked seven innings and allowed just one earned run. That performance lowered Gray’s ERA to 3.45 over 112.3 innings of work.
Tonight Gray will square off with a Mets lineup that he last faced back in late April. The Nationals righty turned in six scoreless innings in that outing and now gets a Mets team that had an up-and-down series with the Yankees. The Mets took game one with a nine-run offensive outburst, but last night, they could only muster up one run on four hits.
The Mets will also send an All-Star pitcher to the mound tonight, with Kodai Senga getting the ball. Senga is fresh off one of the shortest outings of his MLB career, as he went just 3.1 innings against the Red Sox. That start ended a streak of six straight outings with six or more strikeouts for the Mets' right-hander, but he still maintains an 11.36 K/9.
The over on Kodai Senga’s strikeout prop of 5.5 can be found at (-137), and I’ll be taking that as my play for this NL East showdown. The Mets right-hander has gone over this total in 14 of his 18 starts this season and is averaging seven strikeouts per game over his last ten. Senga’s first outing against the Nationals in late April saw him rack up seven punchouts across five innings of work.
Strikeouts have been a big part of Senga’s game in his first Major League season, and he’s done his best work on his home mound, where he will be tonight. In 50.1 home innings, Senga boasts a 31.7% strikeout percentage and 11.8 K/9. To make things even better for Senga backers, his numbers in July in terms of punchouts have been outstanding, as he is sporting a 36.4% strikeout percentage and 12.46 K/9.
The right-hander and his whiff percentage, which is in the 79th percentile in the league, pose as a tough matchup for a Nationals lineup with the fifth-highest percentage of pitches swung at and the third-highest strike percentage in the league. After a short outing his last time on the mound, I expect Senga to bounce back at home and continue to rack up the strikeouts.
Kodai Senga Over 5.5 K’s (-137)