The Washington Nationals and New York Mets have both been able to overcome awful starts to the season and are both in contention for the playoffs. Washington currently holds the first wild card spot, while the Mets are half a game behind the second wild card and two and a half games behind the Nats. Washington just swept the San Fransisco Giants while the Mets have won six straight and nine of their last ten.
New York has taken advantage of weak teams to climb back in the playoff race and this match up with Washington will show where the Mets stand. New York will have their top three pitchers on the mound while Washington counters with their own big guns. Max Scherzer will miss the series with his back injury so the Mets will need to take advantage. Here is a preview of the upcoming must-see series.
Game 1: Strasburg V. Stroman (8/9)
Stephen Strasburg opens the series against new acquisition Marcus Stroman. Strasburg is 14-5 with 175 strikeouts, and a 3.72 ERA. He was roughed up in his last start as he gave up nine runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Strasburg will need to bounce back and return to his July form where he posted a 1.14 ERA in five starts.
Stroman is 6-11 with 102 strikeouts and a 3.07 ERA. He is also looking to bounce back after he had a less than stellar first start with the Mets. Against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Stroman gave up three runs as he only lasted 4.1/3. This will be the first time Stroman faces most of the Nationals lineup.
Key Matchup: Wilson Ramos Vs. Stephen Strasburg. Ramos is hitting .417 against Strasburg with three RBIs. If Ramos can get to Strasburg early and often, then the Mets should be able to jump out to a series lead.
Game 2: Corbin V. Syndergaard (8/10)
Patrick Corbin takes the mound in game two against Noah Syndergaard. Corbin is 9-5 with 164 strikeouts and a 3.43 ERA. Similar to Strasburg, Corbin is also coming off a rocky start as he gave up five runs against Arizona. He will need to get ahead in the counts early against the Mets so he can attack with his slider. If New York is able to hit his usual first pitch fastball then it will be another short outing for the lefty.
Syndergaard is 8-5 with 140 strikeouts, and a 3.96 ERA. After being on the trade block for the second year in a row, Syndergaard has started to elevate his game. In his last two starts, he has given up only two runs and struck out 14 in 14.1/3 innings. He will need to replicate that success against a strong Nationals lineup.
Key Matchup: Victor Robles. Vs. Noah Syndergaard. Robles is 4/7 with three home runs in his career against Syndergaard. The rookie will need to continue his advantage against the veteran to produce from the bottom of the lineup.
Game 3: Sanchez V. deGrom (8/11)
Anibal Sanchez will face off against Jacob deGrom in what could be a rubber match. Sanchez has turned his season around after starting 0-6 with a 5.27 ERA. He served a stint on the IL and once he returned he was able to bounce back from his miserable start. Sanchez is now 7-6 with 96 strikeouts, and a 3.67 ERA. Washington will need another solid outing from Sanchez in order to thwart the red hot New York offense.
deGrom has been pedestrian compared to his Cy Young season last year. But he has finally returned to his old self as of late. He is 7-7 with 182 strikeouts, and a 2.77 ERA. In the month of July, deGrom went 2-0 with 46 strikeouts and a 1.09 ERA in five starts. deGrom has been excellent against the Nationals and will need to continue his dominance in order to allow his team a chance of making up ground.
Key Matchup: Anthony Rendon Vs. Jacob deGrom. Rendon is 2/28 with seven walks and seven strikeouts in his career against deGrom. Rendon is the heart and soul of Washington’s lineup and will need to find a way to finally overcome deGrom. If not deGrom will cripple the Nationals offense.
Feature Image From Metsmerized.
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