New York Mets Series Preview: Washington Nationals (8/24-8/26)

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

The New York Mets will take on the new look Washington Nationals for a three game weekend series. The Mets come off a split of a four game series against the San Francisco Giants, a series they could have very easily swept. The Nats took the first two games against the Philadelphia Phillies, but lost the series finale that was dominated by Aaron Nola. The season series is currently split 6-6.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/24, 7:10 PM) Gio Gonzalez (7-10, 4.51 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (3-8, 7.67 ERA)

(8/25, 4:10 PM) Tanner Roark (8-12, 4.05 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (8-6, 3.63 ERA)

(8/26, 1:10 PM) Jefry Rodriguez (1-1, 5.46 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (5-10, 4.55 ERA)

McLovin, McNeil

Jeff McNeil has been the Mets best hitter over the last two weeks. Over the last seven games he has gone 14-26 and had a streak of eight consecutive at-bats with a hit. Overall, he is hitting .330 with a .495 slugging percentage and only 11 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances. McNeil currently has the highest contact rate in all of baseball which sits around the 50% mark. His hot start to his career makes him the top option at second base for now and hopefully the 2019 season.

Jason Vargas has managed to put together good consecutive starts for the first time this season. He threw six innings of two run ball against the Baltimore Orioles then followed that by allowing two runs in 5.1 innings against the Phillies. Vargas was signed to put together those types of starts. The Mets rotation becomes one of the best in the game when allowing two runs over five innings is something they consistently get out of their fifth starter.

Is the Nats Season Over?

The Nationals have been one of the biggest disappointments of this season. Many analysts had the Nats as their World Series champions. They have been extremely inconsistent all season which has kept them hovering around the .500 mark all season. A perfect example of their season was pulling out a win after being down to their final out against the Phillies then losing a pitchers duel to them the following day. They are eight games out of the NL East and 6.5 out of the wild card, with time quickly running out on their season.

As a result of their inconsistent play, they have dealt many of their important players. It started with trading Brandon Kintzler and releasing Shawn Kelly. They really started to give up on their season when they dealt Matt Adams and Daniel Murphy away. Bryce Harper was also claimed off of waivers by the Dodgers, but neither side could work out a deal. It would be surprising if the Nationals do not trade Harper because he is most likely moving on to a World Series contender in the offseason.

Matchups to Lookout For

Wilmer Flores vs. Gio Gonzalez: 6-28 (.214) Home Run, 3 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Bryce Harper vs. Zack Wheeler: 5-24 (.208) Home Run, 2 Walks, 11 Strikeouts

Anthony Rendon vs. Zack Wheeler: 8-23 (.348) 4 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

Michael Conforto vs. Tanner Roark: 4-20 (.200) 2 Doubles, Home Run, 4 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Ryan Zimmerman against Lefties in 2018: 22-55 (.400) 4 Doubles, 5 Home Runs, 9 Walks, 9 Strikeouts

Seth Lugo Pitching in the 7th inning in 2018: 15 Innings Pitched, 6 Hits, 18 Strikeouts