4) NY Mets vs. SD Padres: Why Juan Soto is important
Juan Soto didn’t have the effect on the Padres that they had hoped. He didn’t quite trigger the offense in the way they had hoped he would but they have a bigger plan in place. San Diego was hoping to win this year with Soto with the intentions of maybe doing it again in the future.
The importance of Soto is vast in this series. Will he step up and start crushing pitchers more consistently as he was meant to or will the Mets find a way to tame this beastly slugger?
The fact that the Mets have questions from the left side of the mound could be a challenge. It will be up to the right-handed relievers most to get him out. There’s no stud southpaw they have we can have faith will retire Soto in a big seventh or eighth inning at-bat.
3) NY Mets vs. SD Padres: Why Yu Darvish is important
Another Padres pitcher on this list, Yu Darvish is Kryptonite to the Mets. He wrapped up the regular season with a 16-8 record and 3.10 ERA. A more important number, he is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 4 career starts at Citi Field. This does include plenty of past Mets squads but it showcases how strong he has been—holding batters to only a .177 batting average in Flushing.
Darvish has been one of the league’s best pitchers for most of his career. He does have postseason experience, most memorably from the 2017 season as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers when he got knocked around in the World Series after two strong performances prior.
A veteran still clearly capable of leading his team to victory, if he’s able to shut down the Mets, it’s going to put New York in a big hole early.