With a loss to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, the Mets dropped right into a tie at the highest of the National League East with the Atlanta Braves. A series between the rivals looms this weekend, as does the opportunity of delays and disruptions brought on by Hurricane Ian.
In consequence, the subsequent five days form a vital stretch. The Mets or the Braves can clinch a division title and earn a useful first-round bye within the playoffs. But things could get complicated, particularly if certainly one of the games between them must be pushed until the day after the regular season is scheduled to finish.
“We all know what’s happening,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter told reporters on Tuesday as he emphasized that the team needed to get through its series with Miami before enthusiastic about Atlanta or the weather. “I actually don’t need to put a concentrate on that, because our guys have done a terrific job of staying on task.”
What’s next for each teams?
The Mets conclude a two-game series against the Marlins on Wednesday. Jesús Luzardo is scheduled to begin for the Marlins against Taijuan Walker of the Mets. Walker has faded some within the second half, just as he did last season, but this may increasingly be his most significant start for the team. The Mets hope, on the very least, to preserve a tie atop the division before the series in Atlanta.
The Braves, meanwhile, are ending a three-game series against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night, having up to now outscored Washington by 16-2 over the primary two games. Jake Odorizzi of the Braves will face Josiah Gray of the Nationals in an underwhelming matchup of back-end starters.
How bad will the weather be this weekend?
Hurricane Ian could have devastating effects on Florida, with high wind and potentially life-threatening storm surges, in response to the National Weather Service. The storm is predicted to move north into Georgia, where it shouldn’t be as severe but could generate high winds and a terrific deal of rain.
Friday night’s forecast within the Atlanta area calls for a 20 percent likelihood of rain within the afternoon, and a 50 percent likelihood after 9 p.m., with wind gusts of as much as 25 miles per hour. Saturday has a 50 percent likelihood of rain all day and night, and Sunday has a 30 percent likelihood.
Rain delays and postponements occur. Why does this one matter?
With the teams so close to one another within the standings, and so few days left within the regular season, the power to make up any lost games is compromised. Options to account for the weather include moving Friday night’s game to the afternoon as a substitute — each teams are off Thursday, lightening the burden of such a move — or potentially making up a lost Saturday game by playing a doubleheader Sunday.
Currently there aren’t any plans to maneuver the Mets-Braves series up a day or shift it to an alternate site. But there may be precedent for the latter, with games having been moved for hurricanes prior to now.
Oct. 6, the day after the regular season ends, is an open day on the schedule and could possibly be used to make up a game should the division not yet be decided, but that may be lower than ideal as it might mean the losing team has no rest before a three-game wild-card series is played over three days.
Is that a latest wild-card format?
Yes, the postseason format was upended in the brand new collective bargaining agreement. The only-elimination wild-card game was scrapped, a 3rd wild card was added to every league, and two three-game wild-card series were created: The bottom seeded division winner — the St. Louis Cardinals within the National League — would host three games in three days against the No. 3 wild card, and the No. 1 wild card would host an identical series against the No. 2 wild card.
While it ought to be less volatile than the previous one-game setup, the shortage of rest and the best-of-three format are still undesirable outcomes compared with the relative safety of being certainly one of the highest two division winners, each of which can skip that round, get extra rest and advance on to a division series.
If the series is played as scheduled, who will start?
The fates have aligned in that regard, with three consecutive games wherein the pitching ought to be superb.
On Friday, Chris Bassitt of the Mets is scheduled to begin against Atlanta’s Max Fried. Bassitt, a 2021 All-Star with Oakland, has a 3.27 E.R.A. for the Mets and has been heating up with an 8-1 record and a couple of.25 E.R.A. over his last 10 starts. Fried, who was an All-Star this yr (and won the World Series-clinching Game 6 last yr), has a 2.50 E.R.A. and has not allowed greater than three earned runs in a game since June 14.
On Saturday, Jacob deGrom of the Mets is up against Atlanta’s Kyle Wright. DeGrom is certainly one of the highest pitchers in baseball, and has been near his usual standards since coming back from greater than a yr away with a 2.93 E.R.A. in 10 starts, though he’s coming off his worst outing of the season. Wright, at 20-5, is the majors’ only 20-game winner this season and only the fifteenth pitcher to succeed in that mark within the last 10 seasons, in response to Baseball Reference.
The series would conclude Sunday with Max Scherzer of the Mets facing Atlanta’s Charlie Morton. Scherzer has lived as much as his large contract despite a number of stints on the injured list, with a 2.13 E.R.A. in 22 starts. Morton can’t match the star power of his opponent, however the 38-year-old in his fifteenth major league season is understood for rising to the occasion — he can have gotten three outs in a World Series game last yr despite having broken his leg.