It is “Do-or-Die” time for the New York Mets (85-74) as they need to hold their Wild Card position in their final regular season series against the Philadelphia Phillies (70-89). They currently hold the first of two Wild Card positions, but the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are right behind them. This three-game stint will need to be utilized to perfection if the Mets want any playoff hope.
Friday 7:05 PM: Robert Gsellman (3-2, 2.56 ERA) v Alec Asher (2-0, 1.66 ERA)
Good news for the Mets as Gsellman had the Phillies’ number last time around. Last week, he went seven innings without allowing a run to earn the win at home. This time will be on the road, but Gsellman should be up for the challenge as they need the rookie more than ever.
Gsellman will have a hard opponent in Asher who defeated the Mets last week as well. Five innings allowing four unearned runs was enough to earn him the win. Only problem so far with Asher, though, is his longevity as he hasn’t gone passed the sixth inning in any of his MLB starts this year.
Pitching Edge: Gsellman gets the edge as he is more experienced than Asher.
Saturday 1:05 PM: Bartolo Colon (14-8, 3.42 ERA) v Phil Klein (0-1, 8.22 ERA)
Colon virtually had the baseball world against him on Monday when he played the Miami Marlins for their first game since the tragic death of Jose Fernandez. The Marlins crushed the 43-year-old for seven earned runs on eight hits in just 2 1/3 innings.
Klein has been utilized primarily as a relief pitcher in the MLB this year. He did make a start back on August 3 against the Giants where he was sent down right after. The Phillies would recall him on September 10, but would stay in the bullpen. Here, he gets his redemption start.
Pitching Edge: Colon gets the edge with Klein not fully ready for the starting role.
Sunday 3:05 PM: Noah Syndergaard (14-9) v Jerad Eickhoff (11-14, 3.72 ERA)
There is a lot that could change in this final regular season game for the Mets if they were to clinch the Wild Card spot before Sunday. The Mets may want to save Syndergaard for the Wild Card game, so we could see a pitching change. If it were to stay this way, Syndergaard will be ready coming off a win in Miami.
Eickhoff hasn’t had the best of seasons, but he will surely want to go out with a bang in his final start of the year. Last time around, he earned a no-decision against the Atlanta Braves as a rain delay ended his start early after four innings.
Pitching Edge: Syndergaard has the clear edge as he is more dominant in all facets.
More About This Series
This is it for the Mets. All they need to do is finish off these three games and they will be headed to Game 163 to determine their playoff hopes. It helps immensely that the Giants play the LA Dodgers and the Cardinals play the Pittsburgh Pirates. These are both good teams compared to the Phillies making the Mets chance of officially clinching the playoff spot even greater. Plain and simple, the Mets need to play mistake-free baseball and they will have the spot in the Wild Card game.