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Mets Enter Final Regular Season Series With One Game Lead in NL Wild Card

159 down. 3 to go. The New York Mets (85-74) will finish off the regular season with a weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies (70-89) at Citizens Bank Park.

The Scenarios:

The Mets enter the weekend with a one-game lead over the Giants for the first Wild Card spot and a two-game lead over the Cardinals. The Mets magic number to clinch a Wild Card berth is two. The magic number to clinch home-field for the one-game playoff is three. So the Mets could clinch a postseason berth tonight if the Mets win AND the Cardinals lose.

The Probables:

Friday: Robert Gsellman (3-2) vs Alec Asher (2-0) – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday: Bartolo Colon (14-8) vs Phil Klein (0-1) – 1:05 p.m.
Sunday: Noah Syndergaard (14-9) vs Jerad Eickhoff (11-14) – 3:05 p.m.

Phillies vs. Mets Tickets: Starting at $12, according to Razorgator.

The Burning Question:

How should Noah Syndergaard’s start on Sunday be managed? Obviously if the Mets have not clinched a postseason berth by Sunday, Syndergaard should absolutely pitch. But what should they do if they have clinched a Wild Card spot, but not home field for the one-game playoff? In my opinion, having Syndergaard available for the one-game playoff is more important than home-field. If the Mets have already clinched a berth by Sunday, Syndergaard’s start should be skipped to have him ready to go for the one-game playoff. I believe this is the right move for the Mets because I would rather have Syndergaard pitch the one-game playoff on the road than have Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo pitch at home. No disrespect to either of those two pitchers, but they have not experienced the heat of a postseason game yet. And since 2012 (the first year of the one-game playoff for the Wild Card), six of the eight road teams have won the game. So home field has not been a huge factor in the one-game playoff so far.

Three Things to Watch:

– Robert Gsellman pitches for New York tonight and he is coming off the best start of his short major league career. In the Mets 17-0 win over the Phillies last Sunday, Gsellman threw seven innings, struck out eight, and allowed just three hits and two walks. Can Gsellman repeat his performance against the same team to put the Mets on the right track in the final series?

– It came out a few days ago that Bartolo Colon is dealing with a tendon issue in his right foot. Apparently Colon injured the foot when running the bases a few weeks ago. In Colon’s last start, he lasted just 2.1 innings on Monday in Miami. Can he get back to his winning ways before the postseason?

– The scoreboard! It is scoreboard watching season and the Mets will be doing a lot of it this weekend. The good news is that the Mets control their own destiny since they have leads over the Giants and Cardinals. The Mets could clinch a postseason berth tonight with a win and a loss from the Cardinals. The Mets start at 7:05 p.m. tonight. The Cardinals begin their game against the Pirates at 8:15 p.m. tonight. So if the Mets do clinch it tonight, odds are that they will be in the locker room when it happens.

If the Mets do hang on for a Wild Card berth, it will be just the second time in franchise history that the Mets have made the postseason two years in a row. This would be the first time since the 1999 and 2000 seasons that they are able to get to the postseason two years in a row.

For those looking ahead, MLB playoff tickets are available via Razorgator. Currently, a potential WIld Card game at Citi Field would cost a minimum of $182.

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