Photos are credited to Getty Images.
As things sit right now, the New York Mets are 4.5 games out of the second National League Wild Card spot, a postseason space that is currently occupied by the St. Louis Cardinals. This week, the Cardinals will host the Mets for a three-game series at Busch Stadium, the clubs’ final meeting of the regular season and one that has the potential to mean wonders in a playoff race that is poised to come down to the wire.
In the opening game of the series, the Cardinals will give the ball to Jaime Garcia. Garcia is 3-0 over his last three starts that have added up to 21 innings. In those innings, Garcia has allowed a total of seven earned runs and whiffed seventeen batters. Garcia’s mound opponent will be Jonathan Niese. Niese has primarily served as a relief pitcher over his most recent outings, as he has started just one game over his last seven appearances. In those appearances, Niese has logged a total of 11.2 innings and pitched to an 8.49 earned run average.
Carlos Martinez will start for the Cardinals in the second game of the series. Each of Martinez’s last two starts have been quality, as he has combined to allow just four earned runs in the pair of outings. Worth mentioning is that over his last eighteen innings, Martinez has whiffed sixteen batters, upping his team-high strikeout rate to 119. Hurling for the Mets will be Jacob deGrom. deGrom, despite being tagged for eight earned runs in his most recent outing, owns a 2.98 ERA over his last seven starts, in which he has struck out 43.
The Cardinals will go with Adam Wainwright in the finale of three-game series. Wainwright, after he allowed thirteen runs in an eight-inning period over two starts, rebounded for a quality start in his latest appearance, as Wainwright allowed three runs in six innings against the Phillies. Though it’s not official, it is expected that Seth Lugo will start for the Mets in the series finale. Young left-hander Steven Matz hit the disabled list on Monday with a mild shoulder strain, and Lugo — who owns a 3.04 ERA in 23.2 innings this season — is expected to fill Matz’s role in the starting rotation for the time being.
Mets: Yoenis Cespedes, center fielder. Since returning from the disabled list, Cespedes is 5-for-13 with two big flies and five RBIs..
Cardinals: Jedd Gyorko, infielder. Gyorko has notched four hits over his last fourteen at-bats, including his nineteenth and twentieth home runs of the year.