Tuesday afternoon should prove to be yet another pivotal baseball game between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals. The Mets are looking to widen their lead on the Nats in the NL East as the final push for the playoffs begins to wind down.

On the mound will be Matt Harvey, who has been facing a firestorm of sorts over his team’s handling of a doctor-imposed 180-inning pitch limit that was placed on Harvey this season as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery last year.

Harvey’s agent Scott Boras has publicly denounced Mets management for their recent comments to the media stating that if Harvey is needed for the stretch run to the playoffs that they would more than likely go OVER that 180-inning limit and even use Harvey in the postseason.

Harvey’s pitching counterpart, Jordan Zimmerman, will be seeking his 5th straight victory for the Nationals, as they look to close the gap against the NL East-leading Mets.

With only a few more weeks left in the season this game will be almost a “do-or-die” type moment for the Nationals, who were once considered to be World Series front-runners to start the season. They currently sit 5 games back but could lower that to 3 with wins on Tuesday and Wednesday against New York.

Betting the runline on the NY Mets

If you head on over to SportsBetting.ag, you can bet on the Mets runline of +1.5 (-225) before the action starts at 7:05 EST. I like the Mets in the position they’re in for this game, despite having to face off against a streaking ace like Jordan Zimmerman.

Despite all the talk about Matt Harvey and his arm, the man has looked pretty decent all year for the Mets. Now while his record of 12-7 may not necessarily reflect that, he has absolutely owned the Nationals in their meetings this year.

In 4 meetings this year he’s held Washington’s bats to an average well under .200 and National League MVP front-runner Bryce Harper has yet to earn a hit off Harvey. Combine this with a great offense then you have a recipe for success.

>> My Pick: The Mets cover the +1.5 (-225) runline

Why you should bet the total runs for NY/Washington

Currently, SportsBetting.ag has the total runs (over/under) set at 7 runs. While this seems like a perfect trap line of sorts, I think these 2 teams will produce a decent amount of offense to push my bet on the OVER in this one. Also, these types of tight division games tend to bring out offenses a lot more, especially with teams in the NL East and Central.

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Yes, Matt Harvey is an absolute beast in his career against the Nationals. Yes, Jordan Zimmerman is smoking hot right now and has crushed his last 2 starts in the midst of a 4-game win streak. This should be nothing short of a great pitching duel, right?

Wrong.

The first game in this series saw a Mets offense go wild on CY Young winner Max Scherzer on Monday. And while the Nats put up a 5-spot at home, there was plenty of potential for more. Unfortunately, Washington’s hitters couldn’t come up with anything late in the game and they ended up losing 8-5.

I believe this game will produce similar results. Tradition wants to push you to bet on low scoring, especially with two great aces colliding. However, the Mets and Nats offenses are just way too overloaded with talent to only put up less than 7 runs between them come Tuesday evening.

Expect Mets hitters like Daniel Murphy to show up big-time, along with Curtis Granderson, David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes to bring the power against Zimmerman. And yes, I think Bryce Harper decides to show up and actually gets his first hit off Matt Harvey on Tuesday. Hell, even if he doesn’t, the Nationals have tons of able-bodied hitters that should be able to pick up the slack should Harper go cold.

>> My Pick: OVER/7 runs (-130) at SportsBetting.ag ($50 FREE mobile bet)

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