At least the New York Mets won’t have to face Atlanta from now until the final weekend of the MLB regular season. For their sake, New York hopes to have a playoff spot clinched before that series but time will tell.
With the upcoming three-game set at Citi Field against the Chicago Cubs, it is now or never for this ball club. If the Mets get swept, they are most likely done for the 2019 season and many fans will be calling for them to find a new manager in 2020.
If New York wins two-out-of-three or sweeps this series, they will then have three big series against the Philadelphia Phillies on the road for three games, the Washington Nationals on the road for three games, and the Philadelphia Phillies at home for three games.
After those series, they will host the Arizona Diamondbacks for four games and that is a team that can’t get overlooked. The Los Angeles Dodgers will then come into town for three games and Los Angeles is tied for the best record in baseball with the New York Yankees, but the Dodgers have not played well as of late.
After that, the Mets schedule will ease up for three games on the road against the Colorado Rockies and they will also play the Cincinnati Reds on the road for three games. New York will then face the Miami Marlins for four games at home before the final weekend of the season.
With 33 games remaining, if they go 23-10, they could potentially be in very good shape for the second wild card spot in the National League. The New York Mets record is currently 67-63.
Heading into this series with Chicago, New York should have the better starting pitching. The projected starting pitchers for Tuesday night will be Yu Darvish (4-6, 4.43 ERA) for the Cubs and Marcus Stroman (7-11, 3.18 ERA) for the Mets.
The projected starting pitchers for Wednesday night will be Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.20 ERA) for Chicago and Noah Syndergaard (9-6, 3.71 ERA) for New York.
The projected starting pitchers for Thursday night will be Jon Lester (10-9, 4.49 ERA) for the Chicago Cubs and Jacob deGrom (8-7, 2.56 ERA) for the New York Mets.
Both of these teams have guys that can hit the ball effectively.
Three players to keep an eye on for Chicago will be outfielder Nick Castellanos (.375 batting average eight home runs and 14 RBI’s and a .406 on-base percentage), first baseman Anthony Rizzo (.290 batting average 25 home runs and 82 RBI’s, along with five stolen bases and a .402 on-base percentage), and shortstop Javier Baez (.281 batting average 28 home runs and 82 RBI’s, along with 10 stolen bases and a .313 on-base percentage).
Castellanos has been a machine ever since being traded from the Detroit Tigers. Rizzo is one of the most underrated players in baseball. Baez isn’t only effective with the bat, but he is a gold glove caliber player as well.
Three players to keep an eye on for New York will be catcher Wilson Ramos (.286 batting average 13 home runs and 63 RBI’s, along with one stolen base and a .350 on-base percentage), first baseman Pete Alonso (.265 batting average 41 home runs and 100 RBI’s, along with one stolen base and a .368 on-base percentage), and outfielder Michael Conforto (.255 batting average 27 home runs and 76 RBI’s, along with seven bases and a .360 on-base percentage).
Ramos hasn’t only been a factor with his bat, but he is also calling games effectively behind the plate. Alonso has already broken the National League Rookie home run record. Conforto is very underrated in the field as well and he has been coming up with some big time plays as of late.
It is also possible that outfielder Brandon Nimmo and infielder Jed Lowrie will return to the team within the next week. The last game Nimmo played was on May 20 against the Washington Nationals at home. Jed Lowrie has not played a game yet this season for the Mets after he signed a two-year deal in the offseason. Lowrie played with the Oakland Athletics last season.
If Chicago wins this series, it will show that they are miles ahead of New York in baseball talent and managing.