The first-place New York Mets head for the nation's capital to take on the last-place Washington Nationals in a clash of NL East foes. As the calendar turns to August, the clubs presently find themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum, with the Mets gearing up for the stretch run and the Nats essentially just playing out the string. Neither side has announced a starting pitcher as of yet so it remains to be seen who will be taking the hill Monday evening.
Mets Look to Increase Division LeadThe Mets have been playing excellent ball for the duration of the 2022 season but only have a three-game lead in the division as the hard-hitting Atlanta Braves remain hot on their tail. New York hits the ball well, entering playing with the 6th ranked scoring offense, averaging 4.66 runs per game. They also own the 6th best team batting average with a .253 mark. There is no shortage of weapons in this lineup, but Pete Alonso stands out and is in the midst of a fantastic season, launching 26 home runs while driving in 84 RBIs to this point.
The Mets also possess one of the better pitching staffs in the league as they enter with a sturdy 3.55 team ERA which is good for 5th overall. They average 7.67 K's per nine innings, which is the 4th highest strikeout rate in the league. Scherzer has played an intricate role with a 6-2 record and solid 2.09 ERA. Things should only be getting better for this staff with two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom ramping up for a return sometime later this summer.
Nationals Pitching Struggling Mightily2022 has not been kind to the Nationals. They have been buried in last place for the duration of the season and have struggled to put together any consistent stretch of play to this point. A key reason why is their pitching which ranks near the bottom in virtually every statistical metric. They own an inflated staff ERA of 5.14, which ranks 29th, and they have the fewest quality starts with just 2o to this point, meaning they aren't getting much length out of the rotation. All of this has put tremendous strain on a below-average bullpen.
The Nationals do have some offensive standouts in the form of Juan Soto and Josh Bell however, they have struggled to generate runs collectively as a group. Washington ranks 26th overall, averaging just 3.85 runs per game. They haven't been able to generate much power at all, with just 79 home runs to this point, the second-lowest amount in baseball.
- The Mets are 5-0 in their last five games
- The Mets are 8-2 vs Washington this season
- The Nationals are 5-12 in their last 17 games