The New York Mets will conclude their 2020 Major League Baseball regular season on the road in the nation's capital against the Washington Nationals. New York is 26-31 and in fourth place in the National League East trailing the first-place Atlanta Braves play 8 ½ games. New York was victorious over Washington 3-2 in the first game of the series, while the second game was postponed. (edit: the Mets have been eliminated from playoff contention).
The regular season has been disappointing for Washington. The Nationals started the season as the defending World Series champions and proceeded to tumble down the standings from the start and are in last place in the NL East 11 ½ games behind the first-place Braves. Washington has lost two straight games following a four-game winning streak. The Nationals must regroup during the off-season to avoid another second straight disappointing season.
Mets can't win with just Jacob deGromAlthough the New York Mets have two-time defending Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom as their ace, the pitching staff falls off quite rapidly after the right-hander. deGrom is leading New York in ERA at 2.14, but as a team, the Mets are 20th in baseball at 4.78 and 20th in WHIP at 1.39. Opposing hitters are averaging .253 at the plate against Mets pitching which is 22nd in baseball. Seth Lugo will start on the mound for New York on Sunday and is 3-3 with a 3.82 ERA. The Mets have won each of Lugo’s last two starts.
At the plate, the Mets have been led all season by Dominic Smith who has a team-high .322 batting average and is the team leader in RBIs with 42. Pete Alonso did not have a sophomore season that most had hoped for but has a team-high 13 home runs. However, Alonso is batting just .211 with 30 RBIs. As a team, the Mets are first in baseball in batting average .273 and fourth in slugging percentage .457. However, New York has scored just the 11th most runs at 275, which means runners are getting on base but not being knocked in.
Pitching is the weak link for the NationalsThe Washington Nationals have been led on the mound this season by veteran Max Scherzer who has team-highs in wins with four and strikeouts with 85 and also has the lowest ERA of any starter at 3.67. However, as a team, Washington has the 26th worst ERA at 5.13 and its 1.52 WHIP is 29th in baseball. Opposing hitters are averaging .271 at the plate against Washington which is 27th in baseball. Washington's starting pitcher for Sunday, Austin Voth, has been a prime example of the problems on the Nationals pitching staff. The right-hander is just 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA.
At the plate, Washington has a good foundation led by left fielder Juan Soto who is leading the Nationals in batting average at .351, in home runs with 13 and runs batted in with 37. The Nationals are fifth overall in team batting averages .261 and have the 14th best slugging percentage of .428. Washington has scored 269 runs which is 14th in baseball.
- New York has won 12 of the last 17 against Washington
- The Mets have won four of the last six on the road against the Nationals