I love looking forward to the FIFA World Cup every four years, and when FIFA draws the teams in the tournament, there always seems to be one group labeled “The Group of Death” because one group is considered tougher than the rest. Well, the New York Mets’ June schedule is what international soccer community would label “The Schedule of Death” because of the insane amount of contending teams the Mets will face after a matinee matchup with the Nationals today, and because of the injuries the team is facing.
For a team that is comfortably in first place in the National League East with a 34-17 record, and a 10.5 game lead in the division, this June schedule will be off the charts amazing for entertainment.
The Mets have a 10 game West Coast road trip from June 2-12 against the Dodgers, Padres, and Angels.
The Mets will have four games at Dodger Stadium starting tomorrow night through Sunday, and this could be a potential playoff preview, and perhaps an NLCS preview. They currently have the two best records in the National League. These teams have the two best offenses in the league, and self-described "average guy" Mookie Betts is leading the way offensively for the Dodgers. Betts is batting .381 with 10 home runs in his last 19 games and has thrusted himself into the league MVP discussion.
The Dodgers have the best run differential in the sport by a mile too, so this will be a tall task for the Mets, which is a testament to the well-oiled machines both franchises have laid out.
They then go to San Diego to take on the Padres from June 6-8, who have improved from last year without Fernando Tatis, Jr. playing a game. Manny Machado has stepped up and is currently the National League MVP front runner, as he is leading the league with a .347 batting average, a .426 on-base percentage, and a 3.4WAR. Elsewhere, the Padres boast a tremendous six-man starting rotation and an elite closer in Taylor Rogers.
Then from June 10-12, the Mets have dates in Anaheim against the Angels, and that series will be full of storylines, from Noah Syndergaard's beef with SNY following Reid Detmers' no-hitter (who is on track to start the Sunday night game for the Angels in that series) to the Mets’ first encounter with Shohei Ohtani. Also, don’t forget about the best player of this generation in Mike Trout playing at a Hall of Fame level. Nor should fans forget about Taylor Ward, who has been unbelievable in his own right, boasting a .686 slugging percentage and a 1.145 OPS.
Aaron Loup is also now on the Angels, and the what-ifs of the Mets’ decision not to re-sign him following a fabulous 2021 season in Queens will likely come up in conversations.