Fantasy Preview: Nationals vs. Mets 22 Sep 2017

The Washington Nationals did themselves few favors in the race for the #1 seed in the National League postseason this past weekend, having dropped two of their three games against the team they were chasing for said top seed: the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But now, with just about a week left in baseball’s regular season, they have to take care of business against their National League East opponents if they want to keep their faint hopes of clinching the top seed alive. That includes a three-game set against the New York Mets at Citi Field this weekend starting 22nd September.

Ok lets look closer at these games below

They’ll have their work cut out from them right from the get-go, putting a struggling Edwin Jackson on the mound, dueling against the Mets’ ace in Jacob deGrom. Jackson (5-6) allowed seven runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two across 2.1 innings to take the loss against the Dodgers last week; he’s allowed 16 earned runs over his last 11.2 innings covering three starts.

Meanwhile, DeGrom (15-9) is coming off a win over Atlanta, in which he allowed one run on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings. He’s now allowed just three runs and racked up 17 strikeouts in 13 innings. The 29-year-old will look to finish his year strong having already set career highs in wins (15), innings (195.1) and strikeouts (228).

The Nationals could or should rebound in the second game, with big righty Stephen Strasburg taking the mound for them. Strasburg picked up the lone victory for the Nationals this past weekend against the Dodgers, allowing one run on three hits across six innings; he walked three and struck out eight in the 7-1 win. He’s now riding a four-game winning streak, helping bring down his ERA to 2.60 in the process.

José! @lamelaza_7 with his 14th homer of the season. #Mets #LGM #JoseReyes

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Speaking of success against the Dodgers this past weekend: Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon went 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo homer in Saturday’s loss to the Dodgers (he was held out of the lineup on Sunday). After a relatively slow start to the season, Rendon has been lights out, posting an OPS just south of 1.000 since the beginning of May. He entered play Saturday with a top-three fWAR in baseball (best in the National League).

However,  as stocked as the Nationals’ roster is, the offense has been sputtering a bit lately. Before they scored seven runs against the Dodgers Sunday, they had posted a total of nine runs over their previous five games. They’re hoping that with Jayson Werth rounding back into form, and the imminent return of Bryce Harper to the lineup, they can jumpstart things in time for the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Mets will put embattled pitcher Matt Harvey on the mound for the third and final game of the series. His return from the disabled list wasn’t exactly enviable, as gave up gave up 12 hits and seven runs in just four innings to the Miami Marlins. That’s 21 runs in 14.1 innings since his his return. He may be pitching for a job in New York next season.

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