The best teams in the National League (and MLB, in fact) will start an important three-game series at Citi Field on Tuesday: the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mets have an 82-47 record, and lead the NL East with a three-game cushion over the Atlanta Braves. The 88-38 Dodgers are arguably the strongest organization in baseball and are on their way to achieving the best record in the league, but the series is extremely important to New York, as it tries to hold off the reigning World Series champions and thus securing a first-round bye in the postseason.
The Mets will be sending Taijuan Walker to the mound on Tuesday, and Jacob deGrom (3-1, 2.15) is expect to follow on Wednesday. The matchup will help measure how Buck Showalter’s team fares against the Dodgers on a short series: it could be a playoffs preview.
The Mets offense needs to wake up
Offense has been a problem for the Mets in recent games. They scored just 13 runs in the four games against the Colorado Rockies, and seven of them came on Friday. In their last six games, New York has scored 17 runs, an average of just 2.83 per game per SNY. Shortstop Francisco Lindor is mired in a slump, and other hitters are cold, too.
The Dodgers series will be a huge test for the struggling Mets offense, as Los Angeles are going to throw some of their best starters: Andrew Heaney (1.94 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) will go on Tuesday, Tyler Anderson (2.69 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) toes the rubber on Wednesday, and Dustin May (1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP in limited action) will take the ball on Thursday.
The two National League powerhouses will face off this week, but winning is far more important for the Mets considering their respective situations in the standings. With a 19.5-game lead in the NL West, Los Angeles is pretty much in pole position to have MLB’s best record even if they lose the Mets series, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try to show the world that the difference between them and the rest of MLB’s elite is significant.