The New York Mets face a critical series this weekend with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field in New York. To say the Mets are now in a “do-or-die” might be an overstatement, but not by a whole lot. After dropping two of three games in a crucial series against the Washington Nationals, the team they are chasing in the National League East, a bad result this weekend could mean the Mets may become sellers at the trade deadline instead of buyers.
What is really disturbing to the Mets psyche right now is that they had a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning of the rubber game on Wednesday at Washington and let it slip away. A win in that game and the Mets are feeling great right now at one game out of the lead. Now they are three games out and facing the leaders of the National League West.
Graphic via bsports
On Thursday night, the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face Bartolo Colon. These two pitchers are both one game over .500, but this clearly favors the Dodgers. Kershaw is one of the game’s best pitchers with a 2.68 ERA and 174 strikeouts and only 27 walks. Colon is 9-8 but with a 4.86 ERA. Kershaw pitching to the Mets anemic offense is going to mean Colon has to be at his best, and it still might be enough.
It doesn’t get any better for the Mets as they will face Zack Greinke at 9-2 with a microscopic 1.30 ERA. They oppose him with Jon Niese who is only 5-8 with a 3.36. The fact that Niese is only 5-8 with an ERA that low explains how bad the Mets offense is most of the time.
Graphic via rotoexperts
We see the Dodgers winning the first two games of the series.
On Saturday, the Dodgers will either be starting a scrub or perhaps if they do a trade between now and then it could be Cole Hamels. David Price, or Johnny Cueto. Don’t be surprised if this happens. But the Mets will be pitching Matt Harvey in this one. Harvey is one of the game’s best and should really be motivated after getting pummeled in Washington in his previous start. If Hamels or Cueto takes the mound it would be the first start for a new team and often those do not go well.
We like the Mets on Saturday.
On Sunday the Mets will pitch Jacob deGrom. Right now he is one of the best in the game as well. He wowed everyone with his three strikeout 1-2-3 inning in the All-Star Game and he followed that performance up by shutting down the Nationals in Washington. Who ever the Dodgers decide to go with on Sunday, and right now it looks like a 5-5 Brett Anderson, we like the Mets chances.
So we’ll take the Mets on Sunday. That leaves us with a four game split in the series, so depending on how the Nats do in their weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh (no easy task) the Mets could gain a couple or lose a couple, but most likely there will no be a lot of movement in the standings this weekend.
Graphic via nytimes