Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Washington at NY Mets
When: 1:10 PM ET, Sunday, July 15, 2018
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York

The Washington Nationals are hoping to make a run after the All-Star break, but they're limping into the intermission and could use a win in the final game before the midsummer classic Sunday at the New York Mets. The Nationals have lost two of the first three in the four-game set, including a 7-4 decision Saturday that dropped them below .500 (47-48).

Michael Conforto's three-run homer was the big blow for the Mets, who are seeking their first series win in nearly two months. Washington's first five hitters in the lineup combined to go 7-for-18 with a home run but the bottom of the order produced next to nothing in Saturday's defeat. The Nationals have lost five of seven since a three-game winning streak and they are 14-26 since May 30. They will give the ball to right-hander Jeremy Hellickson in the finale opposite Mets rookie Corey Oswalt.

TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), WPIX (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Jeremy Hellickson (3-1, 3.47 ERA) vs. Mets RH Corey Oswalt (0-2, 6.75)

Hellickson had his best start in over two months with five scoreless innings - two hits allowed - in a win at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. He preceded that outing with a rough one at home against Miami, which got to the veteran for a season-high nine runs (eight earned) over four innings in a game the Nationals would win 14-12. The 31-year-old has a 7.40 ERA in nine career starts against the Mets and will be careful if facing Jose Bautista or Asdrubal Cabrera, who are a combined 23-for-61 with four homers against Hellickson.

Oswalt is making his fourth straight start since returning from the minors and he's coming off the first quality start of his young career. He allowed three runs on just one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts in a loss to Philadelphia on Monday. That marked the first career home start for the 24-year-old, who has never faced the Nationals.

WALK-OFFS

1. Mets INF Wilmer Flores is 11-for-31 over a nine-game span after recording two hits and scoring twice Saturday.

2. Nationals 1B Matt Adams homered in each of the last two games after going without a home run over his previous 14 contests.

3. New York has not won a series since sweeping three from Arizona at home May 18-20.

PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Mets 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Washington 47-48 L2 22-24 25-24 17-19 8-2 13-16 9-11
NY Mets 39-54 W2 19-31 20-23 19-19 8-15 8-12 4-8
Last Meeting
Washington NY Mets
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/14/18 WAS 4 NYM 7 .235 1 .631 .303 1 .762
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington B. Harper .281 9 1.071
NY Mets A. Cabrera .405 15 1.234
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington B. Harper 4 7 10
NY Mets A. Cabrera 3 11 6
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 5.56 .243 86
NY Mets 3.86 .264 79
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington A. Rendon .285 82 .878
NY Mets A. Cabrera .282 98 .827
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington B. Harper 23 57 54
NY Mets A. Cabrera 17 44 52
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 3.90 .244 857
NY Mets 4.26 .228 834