After losing retired connected the NL East, the Mets volition dive close into the playoffs Friday successful a best-of-three wild-card bid against the Padres astatine Citi Field.
Buck Showalter has his champion 3 pitchers lined up for the series, but that was besides the lawsuit past play successful Atlanta erstwhile the Mets got swept contempt starting Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt. They’ll beryllium hoping for a amended crook this weekend, with the stakes adjacent higher.
The Padres, who were hailed arsenic the commercialized deadline winners this summertime but played lone somewhat amended than .500 shot since then, won the regular-season bid against the Mets, 4-2. This marks the first-ever playoff gathering betwixt the 2 teams.
The Post’s Greg Joyce takes a look astatine however the Mets and Padres lucifer up for the playoff showdown:
At the plate
Getting connected base: The Mets ended the regular play with the majors’ second-highest on-base percent astatine .332 and second-highest batting mean astatine .259. Both of those numbers got a large boost from Jeff McNeil, who captured the National League batting rubric (.326) and has been connected occurrence for the 2nd fractional of the season. But the Mets volition apt beryllium sorely missing Starling Marte, who was an integral portion adjacent the apical of the lineup, which hasn’t rather been the aforesaid since helium landed connected the injured database connected Sept. 10. The Padres (.241 AVG and .318 OBP) person 1 of the champion successful the crippled astatine getting connected basal successful Juan Soto, adjacent though helium has mostly been quiescent since coming implicit successful a blockbuster trade.
Power: The agelong shot is captious successful October, but neither of these teams specialize successful it. The Mets clubbed 171 location runs during the regular season, but the Padres were adjacent quieter with conscionable 153 — the 10th-fewest successful the large leagues. Pete Alonso (40 location runs) is the main root of powerfulness for the Mets, but Francisco Lindor (26) provided a beardown 2nd punch portion a blistery decorativeness got Eduardo Escobar to 20. For the Padres, Manny Machado (32) is astir liable for lowering the boom, with 8 of his homers coming successful the last period of the season.
On the basepaths
Both teams are successful the bottommost 10 successful stolen bases this season, with the Mets swiping 62 (on 84 attempts) and the Padres 49 (on 71 attempts). But Marte was liable for 18 of the Mets’ steals, leaving Lindor (16) arsenic their lone steadfast subordinate with double-digit steals. Still, velocity specializer Terrance Gore looms arsenic the eventual pinch-running weapon. Shortstop Ha-Seong Kim (12) was the lone Padre to bargain double-digit bases. But what the Padres deficiency successful velocity they marque up successful smarts, arsenic FanGraphs’ baserunning metric graded them ninth wide (5.6 BSR) portion the Mets were 25th (-11.2 BSR).
In the field
Infield: The biggest disparities successful this country are astatine 3rd basal and catcher. The Padres person the precocious manus astatine 3rd base, wherever Machado recorded 7 Outs Above Average (per Baseball Savant) to Escobar’s minus-seven. Behind the plate, the Mets’ tandem of Tomas Nido and James McCann gets graded good for their framing (both successful the apical 25 of Baseball Savant’s Catcher Framing Runs) portion the Padres’ Austin Nola is successful the bottommost 5 among qualified catchers.
Outfield: The Padres person a beardown outfield of (from near to right) Jurickson Profar, Jose Azocar/Trent Grisham and Soto, forming a portion that has recorded 16 Outs Above Average — fifth-best successful MLB. Grisham is 1 of the champion antiaircraft halfway fielders successful the crippled if the Padres tin spend to enactment his scuffling bat successful the lineup. This is different country wherever not having Marte hurts the Mets, arsenic helium had settled successful nicely successful close field. Brandon Nimmo has made strides successful center, but Mark Canha is below-average successful left.
How the Mets conception their seat volition beryllium intriguing, led by the anticipation of 20-year-old Francisco Alvarez delivering an inexperienced but high-potential right-handed bat. Having Luis Guillorme arsenic a versatile antiaircraft replacement, if helium isn’t starting astatine 2nd base, is key, arsenic is Gore’s speed. Wil Myers offers the Padres a prime bat that tin play aggregate positions, but they don’t person overmuch extent down him.
On the mound
Rotation: Scherzer volition commencement Game 1, leaving the Mets with the enactment of whether to spell to deGrom oregon Bassitt for Game 2 depending connected whether oregon not it is simply a imaginable elimination game. Either way, the trio had a atrocious past play against the Braves but mostly person been 1 of the champion units during the play — erstwhile healthy, arsenic deGrom’s caller blister contented bears watching. Yu Darvish volition commencement Friday for the Padres, followed by (in immoderate order) Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. The trio has combined for a 3.11 ERA (to Scherzer-deGrom-Bassitt’s somewhat amended 2.94), though the lefty Snell has been particularly lights-out of late.
Bullpen: Edwin Diaz has been the astir ascendant person successful the majors this season, striking retired 118 of the 235 batters helium faced crossed 62 innings. The bigger question is however the Mets get the shot to him, but Adam Ottavino has been mostly dependable and Trevor May has been amended of late. The Mets’ deficiency of a trustworthy lefty (Joely Rodriguez oregon David Peterson are their lone options) could travel backmost to hurt, particularly with Soto successful the opposing lineup. Padres person Josh Hader initially struggled upon being traded to San Diego but finished strong. Similarly to the Mets, the Padres’ span to Hader is little certain, but they person leaned connected righties Luis Garcia and Robert Suarez.
Buck Showalter and Bob Melvin are 2 veterans (each named Manager of the Year 3 times during their careers) who some person playoff acquisition nether their belt, though neither has precocious further than a Championship Series.
The Mets person the vantage of playing the full bid successful beforehand of their location crowd. While the disappointment of not winning the NL East is inactive fresh, if they tin permission that successful the past and get backmost to what won them 101 games during the regular season, they should person the precocious manus successful this series.