Game: Washington Nationals @ New York Mets
Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
Odds: Nationals +265, Mets -333
This season, the New York Mets have 98 victories and have been atop the National League East for 175 days. All of it won’t be enough for New York to win the division unless one of the greatest miracles in baseball history occurs over the next three days.
Tonight, the Mets begin their final three-game series of the season. They host the Washington Nationals and must sweep the NL East’s worst team as they attempt to recover from a devastating weekend sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves.
With their three best starting pitchers — Chris Bassitt, Max Scherzer, and Jacob deGrom — scheduled to start a series in last week’s three-game series with Atlanta, the Mets went down…and hard. The Mets needed just one victory over the Braves to clinch the season series. More importantly, that would have given the Mets the tiebreaker should New York and Atlanta finish the regular season with the same record.
That didn’t happen as the Mets endured a worst-case scenario weekend. DeGrom, Scherzer, and Bassitt, went 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA. The Matt Olson, Austin Riley, and Dansby Swanson combination of the Braves combined to hit .419 (13-of-31) with seven home runs and 10 RBIs in the series. The trio hit six home runs and had nine RBIs against deGrom, Scherzer, and Bassitt.
The only way the Mets can win the division now is to sweep Washington while the Miami Marlins must sweep the Braves in their final regular season series. The weekend sweep increased the Braves’ lead to two games and lowered their required win total to win the NL East to one. If the Braves do indeed win the division, the Mets will be the top wild card and the No. 4 seed going into a NL playoff series that starts on Friday.
The Philadelphia Phillies (86-73) and Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) are battling for the final NL playoff berth, with the San Diego Padres (87-72) currently holding down the No. 5 seed.
Tonight in a matchup of right-handed pitchers, Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will take the field for the Mets against the Nationals’ Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11 ERA). Tonight’s game offers the Nationals, who are currently in last place (55-104) at least one more chance to have an effect on the playoff race. Washington lost 8-0 in the pouring rain on Sunday afternoon and went 2-5 the previous week against the Braves and Phillies.
Carrasco’s most recent start was last Tuesday. He pitched three innings and gave up four runs to the Marlins. He was not involved in the decision. In seven career games (six starts), Carrasco is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA versus the Nationals.
In his most recent start on September 26, Abbott gave up five runs, four of which were earned. The performance led to an 8-0 loss to Atlanta. In four games (one start) versus the Mets in his career, Abbott is 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA.
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