The New York Mets welcome the Washington Nationals with seven straight wins on the line Friday night. Along with a six-game winning streak, the Mets are 13-1 in their last fourteen games to catapult them into the postseason mix. Heading into the weekend, the Mets trail by just a half a game for the final wildcard. The Mets recently jumped above .500 for the first time since May.
They were at a season-low 11 games under .500 in the first game back following the All-Star Game. About a month later, they’re 59-56 and knocking on the door of a postseason berth. How fast things can change can’t be stressed enough in Major League Baseball. If you’re not paying attention for a few weeks, the landscape can look completely different down the road.
The only disclaimer I have with this team is the competition they’ve been playing. Since July 25th, they’ve beaten the Pirates, Padres, White Sox, and Marlins. None of those teams are above .500, nor are any of them going to the postseason.
All four aren’t even on the bubble, so it’s difficult to get a real gauge on them at the moment. Having said that, their rotation is dangerous and could be able to carry them into the Wild Card Game. Adding Stroman makes a lot more sense now. It provides an already stacked rotation with another one of the better arms in baseball.
The Nationals are a team that the Mets are trying to catch in the National League. At 61-53, the Nationals would be hosting the Wild Card Game if the playoffs began today. They had to fight through the standings and go up from the bottom.
Washington are on a collision course to meet the Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card Game, which would make for an interesting affair with Bryce Harper. The Mets aren’t about that, though, and there are three other teams tied with the Phillies. The Mets send out Stroman to counter Stephen Strasburg on Friday night at Citi Field. Head below for our free Nationals vs. Mets pick.
Washington Nationals vs. N.Y. Mets Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
This will be Stroman’s second start as a member of the Mets. He didn’t seem thrilled about management giving up on him in Toronto and his first option in a trade appeared to be the Yankees. However, Stroman still has a golden opportunity to go to the postseason with another New York team over in Queens. He can help play a major role in that as well. Stroman enters with a solid ERA of 3.07 in 129 innings pitched.
His ERA was better before he arrived to play for the Mets. Stroman was traded when he had an ERA of 2.96, but he will go into Friday with a 3.07 ERA. He took a bit of a beating in his debut against the Pirates, allowing 7 runs and 3 earned runs in just 4.1 innings.
It looks okay, but that equals an ERA of 6.23 which isn’t too pretty for Stroman. In any event, the main objective was complete, as the Mets secured a 7-5 win over the Pirates in that one. The Nats are hitting .280 with 8 runs scored on Stroman in 50 at-bats.
Strasburg has seen the Mets a lot in his career. He has 308 at-bats against this current Mets roster and has done well against them. The Mets are hitting .234 with 19 runs scored against Strasburg. With just 50 at-bats, the Nationals have nearly scored half of that against Stroman in far less time.
Strasburg is coming off a brutal start, where he allowed 9 hits and 9 earned runs in 4.2 innings in Arizona. However, in four out of his previous five starts, he had allowed 1 or no runs. That is likely just an outlier for Strasburg and he should be able to bounce back into form.
Despite that outing to skew his numbers, he’s still been solid on the road with a 3.94 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. The Mets finally play a team with a record above .500 tonight. I’m on the Nationals to end the winning streak and keep theirs going with four consecutive wins.