To win the NL East it won’t just be about how well the Mets and Nationals can do against each other, but also how well they can beat up on the rest of the division.
We’ve already looked at how the Mets may fare against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves, and the Miami Marlins this upcoming season. Now, we wrap up this series by looking at the defending National League East champions, the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals went 12-7 against the Mets in 2016. Five of the last six seasons, Washington has had a better winning percentage against New York.
Against the NL East teams, the Mets went 40-36 compared to the Nationals who went 51-25. This made the Nats finish 6 games better than New York against the Braves, Marlins, and Phillies, and was undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons the Nationals won the division by 8 games last year.
The Nats are led primarily by their dominating pitching staff. They finished last season with the second most strikeouts and second lowest ERA in the majors (3.51). It seemed the theme of the series meeting between the two teams was Mets hitters struggling against the Nationals pitchers.
Last season, the Mets were held to 2 runs or less in 12 of the 19 contests. In those 12 games, the New York went 2-10. Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg combined to make six of those twelve starts against the Mets. These two guys dominated the Mets, going 5-1 in 40.1 innings pitched allowing only 20 hits, and 7 runs while striking out 59 batters.