Somehow the Mets have managed to stay over .500 despite their injury problems. Their record stood at 69-65 heading into Friday. They've accomplished this without many of their best players from last year’s World Series run, including Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and David Wright. Even newcomer Jon Niese and the still-recovering Zach Wheeler have still not been activated off the disabled list. New York is 4-9 against Washington this season and 2-5 at home. Acquisitions like James Loney, Jay Bruce, and Alejandro de Aza are all in the starting lineup for the Mets as they continue their playoff push with this new look.
The Washington Nationals are finally backing up the hype and meeting the high expectations that come with a lineup as stacked as theirs. Not only do they have a balanced batting order that includes Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Wilson Ramos, but they also have a shutdown rotation with guys like Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg. Their 78-55 record gives them a comfortable lead in the division and puts them only behind the Cubs and the Rangers for the best record in the MLB.
The Mets will send out Seth Lugo, a new face in their rotation, to start against Washington. In three starts this year, Lugo has accumulated a 2.60 ERA as well as a 2-1 record. This will be his first start against the Nationals, but he won his lone home appearance when he faced the Marlins on Tuesday. Sunday’s game will mark his first real challenge when he faces one of the league’s top teams.
For the Nationals, it will be their ace, Max Scherzer, making the start. With his 2.89 ERA, 15-7 record, and 238 strikeouts, Scherzer is making himself a Cy Young candidate once again. He’s 2-1 against the Mets this season, and most recently won in New York when he gave up no runs and only three hits in a 6-1 Washington victory. He shouldn’t have a problem handling this shallow Mets lineup, especially considering his past history in New York.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Though the Mets have contended with every team they face, expect Scherzer to be too much for them. Nationals win 4-0.