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Preview: Mets at Nationals

GAME: New York Mets (77-61) at Washington Nationals (71-67)
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, September 09 – 7:05 PM EST
WHERE: Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
LINE: 111, -120 TOTAL: 7.5

After overcoming a six-run deficit in stunning fashion, the New York Mets look to further dim the lights on the Washington Nationals’ postseason aspirations when the National League East rivals play the finale of the three-game set on Wednesday. Winners of 13 of their last 18 contests, the Mets increased their lead over the second-place Nationals to six games with 24 remaining on the schedule.

Yoenis Cespedes, who has five homers during a seven-game hitting streak, atoned for a three-run miscue in the field with a three-run double in Tuesday’s 8-7 triumph. David Wright has recorded seven multi-hit performances in 12 contests since returning from spinal stenosis surgery and is 6-for-19 in his career versus Wednesday starter Stephen Strasburg. New York has won nine of its 15 meetings with Washington this season, including five of eight at Nationals Park. Yunel Escobar is doing his best to keep Washington within shouting distance, going 16-for-34 with six runs scored in September and enters Wednesday’s contest with a career 5-for-10 mark versus starter Jacob deGrom.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, SNY (New York), MASN2 (Washington)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Jacob deGrom (12-7, 2.40 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (8-6, 4.35)

DeGrom saw his winless stretch extend to three outings despite recording a quality start in a no-decision versus Miami on Friday. The 27-year-old allowed three runs on a season-high nine hits in six innings and did not walk a batter against the Marlins. DeGrom rebounded after losing a pair of April starts versus Washington to permit two runs on three hits in a 7-2 triumph on July 21 before tossing six strong innings in a no-decision against the Nationals on Aug. 1.

Strasburg, who has been bothered by a balky back, has been given the go-ahead to start against the Mets after working through an intense bullpen session on Sunday. The 27-year-old has won five of his last six decisions, but yielded four runs on seven hits in four innings against Miami in his last start on Aug. 30. Strasburg has split a pair of outings versus New York, getting blitzed for six runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-3 setback on April 9 before tossing 5 1/3 strong frames in an 8-2 win three weeks later.

WALK-OFFS

1. Washington 1B Ryan Zimmerman, who sat out Tuesday’s tilt with a mild oblique injury, is batting .435 with six homers and 18 RBIs during his 11-game hitting streak.

2. New York 2B Daniel Murphy is 0-for-9 in his last three contests.

3. Nationals OF Bryce Harper is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts in the series.

PREDICTION: Mets 5, Nationals 3