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Mets Kickoff Three Game Series with Nationals

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tim Clayton

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tim Clayton

The New York Mets (76-67) kickoff a three game series with the first place Washington Nationals (85-58) this evening in the nation’s capital. Here is the series information

Monday: Rafael Montero (0-0) vs Matt Latos (7-2) – 7:05 p.m. 

Tuesday: Noah Syndergaard (13-8) vs A.J. Cole (1-2) – 7:05 p.m. 

Wednesday: Robert Gsellman (2-1) vs Tanner Roark (14-8) – 4:05 p.m. 

Over the past two years, the Mets and Nationals rivalry has had a lot of juice. They usually include great pitching, large crowds, and division implications. But with the Mets nine games out of first place entering the series and just 19 games left to play, there is hardly a glimmer of hope to make a run at the division. The Mets have their sight set on the first Wild Card spot where they are just 1.5 games back of the San Francisco Giants. New York is also just 0.5 games in front of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. 

The Mets enter this series having won seven of their last eight games and hold a 16-5 record in their last 21 games. Washington has been pretty hot of late too. They have won six of their last seven and 10 of their last 13. They haven’t been playing great competition recently, but they seem to be doing fine so far after the injury to Stephen Strasburg. 

As of right now, the Nationals are the only team remaining on the Mets schedule that has a record of .500 or better. The only other team that is close is the Miami Marlins (71-72). So after this series, the Mets have a very favorable schedule. 

Rafael Montero will be making his second career start against Washington. In seven career innings against them, he has allowed eight hits and five earned runs (also includes one relief appearance. Noah Syndergaard on the other hand has had some more experience pitching against this team yet he has had his troubles. This year, he is 1-3 record, a 4.15 ERA, and a ton of trouble holding baserunners on. Syndergaard has looked pretty good in his last few starts so maybe he can turn things around on Tuesday. Robert Gsellman will be making his second career start against Washington on Wednesday. In his first start, he pitched six innings, allowed six hits, and just one earned run. 

Speaking of Gsellman and Montero, It is pretty incredible that the Mets have gone on this run with a rotation of Syndergaard, Colon, Gsellman, Lugo, and Montero. The last three names in that list deserve a ton of credit for holding down the fort while guys like deGrom and Matzare injured. 

How about the other teams in the hunt for the Wild Card? The Giants open up a three-game home series tonight against the San Diego Padres. The Cardinals on the other hand have a three-game series at home with the best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs (91-51). So St. Louis could seriously hurt their Wild Card hopes if they drop two or three games in this series. 

At the beginning of the season, people thought this series between the Mets and Nationals might be a decisive one on the division. But it clearly hasn’t shaped up that way. The Mets could sweep the series and Washington could still runaway with the division crown. The next three games are crucial for a Wild Card spot. 

Can the Mets hang on to a Wild Card spot down the stretch?

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