The New York Mets responded on Saturday after a lackluster effort Friday night in Kansas City. Jacob deGrom spearheaded the outing for the Mets, as he allowed just 3 hits and 1 earned run in the 4-1 win. The Royals were the first to strike in the bottom of the 4th, but that was all they had to celebrate last night. Jakob Junis was tagged for 3 earned runs to give the Mets control of the contest.
It was a needed win to get the Mets back on track following an abysmal showing in the game prior. The Mets were also in danger of losing their fifth game in six outings. This after going 15-1 to get back into the wildcard hunt. They’re in a delicate position right now. Going 15-1 is not easy, even though it was against inferior competition. So, sustaining that strong push is even more difficult, which they’re going to need more of.
The only guarantee for the Mets at this point is that they will not be winning the NL East. That ship has come and gone on the Mets. They’re currently 9 games back of the Braves in the division, but are alive in a competitive race to go to the Wild Card Game. The Phillies, Brewers, and Cubs are all ahead going into Sunday. Two games is what the Mets have to concern themselves with right now, but it’s going to be more difficult than it sounds to overcome that lead.
With their rotation, it’s within reach for the Mets, though. DeGrom was fantastic yesterday and Zack Wheeler will be looking for more of the same this afternoon. Wheeler is coming off one of his roughest starts of the year, so we’ll see how he responds in KC here. The Royals are scheduled to give Glenn Sparkman the starting nod at home. Head below for our free Mets vs. Royals pick.
N.Y. Mets vs. K.C. Royals Pick:
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Zack Wheeler was the subject if a plethora of trade talks leading up to the deadline. It was difficult not to listen to trade rumors without hearing the name Wheeler. Out of the blue, though, the Mets decided to be buyers and trade for Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. The only member of the rotation who ended up getting moved was Jason Vargas to the Phillies. Wheeler responded to the news of staying with the Mets nicely.
He didn’t allow a run in two straight games, having gone 15 innings without allowing a run to the opposition. That came crashing down in Atlanta, where Wheeler was tagged for 5 earned runs and 12 hits in 5 innings against the Braves.
Despite the poor outing, Wheeler has been in control with an ERA of 2.25 in his previous three starts. Wheeler has little experience against this roster. He’s held Alex Gordon and Billy Hamilton to a combined batting average of .125, but he hasn’t faced any other Royals.
No Met has an at-bat against Sparkman in their careers. With only 3 starts a season ago, this is his first season getting fulltime action in the major leagues. Sparkman will be making his 16th start and 24th appearance of the season on Sunday against the Mets. He hasn’t shown that he deserves a spot in the rotation in 2019. Sparkman enters this contest with a 5.45 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 99 innings of work.
Sparkman owns an ERA of 6.60 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his previous three outings. Expect Wheeler to get a nice bounce back performance in this one after struggling to do his job against the Braves in his most recent outing. Sparkman might have a decent afternoon, but he likely isn’t going to be able to keep up with Wheeler in this spot.