After just missing the playoffs, the Mets look to retake the division for the first time since 2015. The Nats and Braves stand in their way.
New York Mets 2019 record: 86-76
Washington’s record vs. New York last season: 7-12
New York Mets lost: Zack Wheeler
The Mets finished 3rd in the NL East and were three games out of the second Wild Card spot. Despite underwhelming performances by last year acquisitions, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, the Mets have reason to think this year will be different. After batting over .300 in 2018, Cano finished the 2019 season hitting .256, with 10 homers and 39 RBI’s. While Diaz had an ERA over five after leading the league in saves (57) in 2018 and a 1.96 ERA. Expect both to bounce back. The addition of Dellin Betances should give much needed support to a bullpen that struggled to finish games. Betances was hurt majority of last year but has a career 2.36 ERA and has finished every full season he’s played in with 100 or more strikeouts. He’ll fit in as the Mets new setup man or possibly become the teams closer if Diaz struggles again.
This year’s Mets could possibly push for a Wild Card spot thanks to the pitchers they signed this postseason (Betances, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha). Last year, they ranked 11th in the majors in ERA which was two spots ahead of the Nationals. They are led by back-to-back NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. Adding former All-Stars Porcello and Wacha should make the rotation even more formidable. New York will also be able to put runs on the board ranking 13th in runs scored led by 2019 NL All-Stars Pete Alonso (53HRs,120RBIs) and Jeff McNeil (23HRs, 75RBIs)
Nationals to Watch:
Due to the off-season acquisitions the Mets made, the two teams are pretty even on paper. The Nationals brought back virtually everyone from their World Series team except Anthony Rendon. The biggest difference maker might be newly acquired relief pitcher Will Harris. Harris will help a Nationals bullpen that had the worst bullpen ERA in the majors last year and also struggled to preserve leads. The Mets won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. Two of those 10 games saw the Nationals give up a bunch of runs in the ninth inning. On August 9th, the Nationals went into the bottom of the ninth up 6-3 before giving up four runs to lose the game. They again gave up five runs in the top of the ninth inning before scoring seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 11-10. Harris should help mitigate some of those issues against an explosive Mets offense.
Also, in what’s projected to be a close series it’ll be important for the Nationals to get the edge in the deGrom vs. Max Scherzer matchups. Last year the two pitchers took opposing mounds in three of the 19 games. The only game the Nats won was their late ninth inning rally on September 3rd.
2020 Series Breakdown:
March 26, 28-29 @ New York
April 2, 4-5 in D.C
June 4-7 in D.C
June 12-14 @ New York
August 25-27 in D.C
September 4-6 @ New York
Prediction: Nats win season series 10-9.