Mets September Preview: Many ways the Mets can spoil the pennant race

The New York Mets have plenty of chances to play spoiler on their schedule. How often can they do it in September?
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Alex Slitz/GettyImages
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Now that the New York Mets are turning the page towards the future with the callups of Ronny Mauricio and Brett Baty, let us look at what the expectations should be for this team as the season enters its final stanza, the month of September. It will be a month where the Mets finally have their highly anticipated quartet of top prospects from the start of the season together in Flushing.

The Mets have plenty of chances to play spoiler down the stretch as their final 20 games of the season are against teams in the National League Wild Card hunt. But first, the Mets can make a possible impact on the American League West race.

The New York Mets open their September slate when they host the first-place Seattle Mariners for a three-game series before a five game road trip after Labor Day with visits to Washington and Minnesota.

No team in the American League has been better since the All-Star break than the Mariners, who have won 31 of 44 games since the intermission. They have pitched at a high level with Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, and Luis Castillo (the three starters the Mets are likely to see this weekend), and have hit a lot of home runs, particularly from Julio Rodriguez and Cal Raleigh.

The story with the Mets will be the presumptive debut of Ronny Mauricio, the No. 90 overall prospect on MLB Pipeline’s chart, who be challenged early on because of the pure strength of that Seattle rotation.

The Mets play a quick two-game set with the Nationals on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, and the Nationals have been very good since the All-Star break, going 26-1x in the second half, thanks to grinding out at-bats and putting the ball in play, as they are one of the toughest teams to strike out in the league.

Keibert Ruiz is finally showing why the Nationals raved about him after going to the Nats in the Max Scherzer-Trea Turner trade two years ago, and Joey Meneses is having a second half reminiscent of that of last year.

The Nats’ pitching, in comparison, has not been so great, and both of the starters the Mets may see next week, Patrick Corbin and Joan Adon, have ERA’s around 5 in the second half.

The Mets will visit Minnesota to play the Twins from September 8-10, a team in first place in the AL Central, and it’ll be their first encounter with Carlos Correa since he became known as the free agent signing that never was for the Mets as the Mets flagged concerns with his ankle in physicals. However, Correa has batted .222 and has struggled to live up to the contract he signed with the Twins.

But for Correa, no worries right now about his poor performance. And that’s because the Twins are hitting home runs (9 players with 10 home runs or more) and they're striking out their opposition (27.1 percent strikeout rate is the highest in baseball).