After defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-1, the San Francisco Giants (87-75) officially won the second National League Wild Card spot. They will travel to Citi Field to face the Mets (87-75) in Wednesday’s winner-take-all Wild Card game. The Giants beat out the St. Louis Cardinals, leading them in the race by a single game heading into Sunday.
The Mets won 4 of 7 games against the Giants this season, with two wins both home and in San Francisco. Throughout the season, the teams held similar records and places in the division standings, ensuring that Wednesday’s game will be fair-matched.
The Mets already announced that Noah Syndergaard will start on Wednesday against presumed Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. The aces last dueled off at Citi Field in May, when the Giants defeated the Mets, 15-8. This season, Syndergaard is 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 183.2 innings pitched. Bumgarner, meanwhile, is 15-9 this season with a 2.74 ERA and 251 strikeouts in 226.2 innings pitched.
Syndergaard last started on Tuesday, so he will start the Wild Card Game with three extra days of rest. While there were talks of having him start on Sunday and pitch just one inning, the Mets ultimately had him throw in the bullpen before the game instead.
Starting Syndergaard against the Giants is probably the Mets’ best defensive move, as he made two starts against them this season and held them to four runs in 13 2/3 innings. Offensively, however, Terry Collins has a lot of strategic thinking to do, as many of the Mets’ better hitters are left-handed, which makes the Bumgarner matchup challenging.