On paper, the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets look like two of a kind.
In reality, however, these teams could not be more different. While their wins and losses columns look almost identical, the San Diego Padres have a future, and the Mets once again remain stagnant in their own missed opportunities. They’re far from the team that went to the World Series in 2015.
Joey Lucchesi is set to kick the series off against Jacob deGrom, one of the few bright spots left in Queens. While Eric Lauer was originally slated to kick off the series, I think even the Padres figured this matchup would be more of a pitchers duel. Lucchesi had been previously sidelined with a hip strain but after some more minor league rehab starts over the all-star break, the club thinks he’s ready to go against the Mets ace.
Much like Lauer, Lucchesi has been one of the dominant young starters in this rotation. He’s had his ups and downs but still managed to post a 3.34 ERA. His fastball has clocked in at 96 mph when at it’s best and he can generate swings and misses by switching off to his breaking stuff.
DeGrom continues to be one of the best starters in baseball only to suffer no-decisions and losses due to his team’s lack of offensive support. However, it shouldn’t be difficult for the Padres to generate some runs tonight. Freddy Galvis, Christian Villanueva, Hunter Renfroe, and Jose Pirela have all hit at least .333 or higher against him this season. Wil Meyers, despite missing a chunk of time on the DL has picked up right where he left off, and continues to dominate with an OPS of .898 and is currently leading the Padres with a WAR of 1.7.
Eric Lauer and Clayton Richards are slated to start the other two games of the series while the Mets other two starters remain a question mark. Between Noah Syndergaard being sent to the DL with a bizarre bout of hand, foot, and mouth disease, and rumors still swirling around a possible Zach Wheeler trade, the Padres could possibly be facing the likes of Corey Oswalt or Seth Lugo.
And who knows, with the trade deadline just one week away, maybe we could end up seeing Syndergaard in a Padres uniform for the next few years.