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Nationals and Mets Play Big Series Prior to All-Star Break

A National League East showdown between the top two teams in the division takes place on Friday when the Washington Nationals visit the New York Mets. The current line has Washington at -108, New York at +100 and the over/under run total on 6.5.

Entering the game, Washington has a record of 51-36 overall and 24-21 on the road. The Nationals are 6-4 over their past 10 games played. New York entering this game is 47-38 overall and 26-17 at home. The Mets are 7-3 over their past 10 games played.

The Mets will attempt to close the gap between them and the first place Nationals with this weekend four-game series leading to the All-Star Game break. New York is now just three games behind the Nationals after their 9-7 win on Thursday in the first game of the series.

Washington will send ace Stephen Strasburg to the mound on Friday. The Nationals right-hander is a perfect 11-0 with an ERA of 2.71. New York will counter with Noah Syndergaard. The Mets right-hander is 9-3 with an ERA of 2.41.

Strasburg pitched very well his first game back from the disabled list last Sunday with 6 2/3 innings of hitless pitching. He has given up less than 2 runs in 10 out of 15 starts this season. He won back-to-back outings against the Mets during May.

Syndergaard pitched well Sunday even though he was suffering from a bone spur in his right elbow. He gave up seven hits and one run to the Chicago Cubs while fanning eight. The 23-year old from Texas is 7-1 over his past eight decisions.

The Mets were down 4-1 as well as 6-4 in the game but hit four homers to rally for the win. The recently activated Jose Reyes hit one home run for the Mets, while teammate Wilmer Flores put the Mets ahead for good with a three-run homer during the fifth.

The loss on Thursday by Washington was its third in the past four games. The Nationals have now lost 8 of their past 9 games on the road. Washington entered this series with a record on the season of 6-3 against New York. The Nationals swept the Mets back in late June outscoring the Mets 20-6.

Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman did not play on Thursday in the opener of the series for an undisclosed injury and is day to day.

Prediction: New York is facing the Nationals pitching ace, but has a star pitcher of their own on the mound. Lean slightly toward the home team here.

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