The New York Mets will likely play a local schedule in the modified 2020 season. Reports state the Mets will play 40 games against their NL East opponents, with the rest of the 20 games against the AL East. This creates the most competitive “10-team” division in baseball.
Plan is for teams to play 40 games in division and 20 games interleague with their geographic counterpart (East vs. East, etc.) #MLB
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 24, 2020
Outside of the Orioles, every game will be a highly competitive matchup as 8 of the 10 teams have definite playoff aspirations. The Mets were 40-36 against the NL East in 2019 but had mixed results when it breaks down by team.
As expected, the Mets went 13-6 against the Miami Marlins last season, which included a 7-3 record in the second half. They improved but are still a ways from contending from an NL East crown. A .500 season is not out of sight for them.
The Mets held their own against the Washington Nationals. They were 12-7 against the defending champions. Two of their biggest victories came against the Nationals, but there were failures as well. They had a chance to sweep them twice in the second half but blew it big time. The first time came with an opportunity to gain first place in the Wild Card standings, with Jacob deGrom on the mound, but they could not seal the deal.
The second occurrence came in the middle game of a three-game series in Washington. They dramatically blew a 10-4 lead in the ninth inning and was a big blow for their playoff push. As usual, the Mets/Nationals series will have no love lost.
This doesn't even reduce travel
Take the Mets
Their interleague schedule should be
4 vs NYY, 4 vs TBR, 4 vs BOS, 4 vs TOR, 4 vs BAL
Instead it will be something like
6 vs NYY, 3 vs TBR, 4 vs BOS, 4 vs TOR, 3 vs BAL
They still have to travel for those 3 game series https://t.co/s3iOZKw7BK
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) June 24, 2020
The only series the Mets took from the Atlanta Braves was the final one, which did not mean anything. They were 8-11 against the division champions and looked overmatched a majority of the time. Out of all the 2019 division champs, the Braves look the least likely to repeat.
The Mets were 7-12 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Arguably, their worst loss in the first half came in Philadelphia and started the downfall of Edwin Diaz‘s season. He blew the save and proceeded to lose the game in the same inning.
The Move to the American League/New Rules
Due to the fear of the virus traveling some interleague games do not make sense, but MLB has never been a league that uses common sense. The only AL East team they played in 2019 was the New York Yankees, where they split the season series. Thankfully, a series against the Baltimore Orioles should be a break to the Mets competitive schedule. Every other series will be an even matchup.
Not only will the Mets have to get used to a universal designated hitter, but a possibility of new extra-inning rules will be in place. A runner will start at second base to speed up the game and prevent increased exposure due to extra innings.
Like any new rule, it comes with plenty of doubters, but it will undoubtedly change the way baseball plays in 2020. It won’t just be extra innings; innings 1-9 are going to have a chaoticness we have never seen before.