There are points in a season where every winning team faces a turning point, and this point of the season is not usually recognized until a later point in time. The 2015 season saw the almost trade of Wilmer Flores and a sweep of the Washington Nationals propel the Mets all the way to the World Series. While the situation is vastly different from 2015, the Mets, despite all of their pitfalls are still in competition for a Wild Card spot. Although it is a tall mountain to climb, the schedule has shook out that the Mets will play three teams that are on top of them in the Wild Card standings.
The San Francisco Giants, Sand Diego Padres, and Pittsburgh Pirates all sit in front of the Mets, and will all welcome the Mets over the coming week. The three teams each present a variety of intriguing matchups for the Mets. Their first opponent of that stretch, the Giants, find themselves in a somewhat similar situation as the Mets. They are currently streaking and finding their best play at the worst possible time. They started the season off extremely slow, as many expected them to do, but are playing their best baseball as the trade deadline approaches. Despite this, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Giants will remain sellers at the deadline.
The Mets, who have also picked up their pace of play, also still seem to be sellers at the deadline. There has been conversations about the Mets dealing some of their starting pitching, most specifically Noah Syndergaard, and despite his injury, Zack Wheeler. The Giants, just like the Mets have been receiving mass interest in their pitchers, especially Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. The similarity of the two teams will make this an interesting series to keep an eye on. If one team wins or even sweeps the series in commanding fashion, it could potentially push one of the teams to move one of their big name starting pitchers.
When the Mets welcome the San Diego Padres to town, the welcome won’t be so warm for Chris Paddack. The sparkling rookie has pitched to a 6-4 record with a 2.70 ERA. In the process, he has also created some beef with Pete Alonso. After Alonso captured Rookie of the Month for April, Paddack expressed disdain towards Alonso, creating a natural tension between the two budding superstars. Last time the two faced off, Alonso was dominated by Paddack at the plate. Now that both of them have been continuing their success during the season, it will be interesting to see them go toe-to-toe once again.
The last of the three opponents, the Pittsburgh Pirates, find themselves in a tailspin. The Mets and Pirates have not yet faced each other this season, so the Mets could be facing an embattled Pirates squad at just the right time. The Mets offense, which seemed to catch spark in Minnesota will do battle with a rotation that has let their team be outscored 36-18 in their first six games out of the All-Star break. If the offense of the Mets is still cooking by the time the Pirates roll in, it could potentially be an exciting finish to a stretch that will determine the outcome of the season.