San Francisco (87-75) at NY Mets (87-75)
When: Wednesday, October 5th 2016
Where: Citi Field, New York, NY
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ESPN
Two big-time pitchers will square off Wednesday night in the National League Wild Card game when the New York Mets host the San Francisco Giants. Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner are about the two best you would want in a do-or-die game like this. The question is, can the offenses do enough to advance to the next round to face the Chicago Cubs. New York slugged a franchise-record 218 homeruns this season and were the best team in the league in the last quarter of the season (27-13). The home run total ranked them 5th in the majors, but the Mets were 26th in runs scored (4.14) and 25th in batting average (.246). New York finished the season by winning four of their last five to hold off San Francisco and secure homefield for this contest. The Giants were a miserable 30-42 after the All-Star Break, but rallied late to win their last four games to hold off the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. The Giants’ pitching and bullpen came through in the stretch after almost giving the season away in mid-September and held their opponents to three runs or less in their last six games. San Francisco will be looking for their fourth straight World Series title in even-numbered years (2010, 2012, 2014).
Pitchers: Giants – Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA) | Mets – Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60)
Bumgarner is 7-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 postseason appearances (12 starts) and was MVP of the 2014 World Series. He has also excelled against the Mets in his career, going 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA and .189 batting average against in six career starts. Bumgarner won at least 15 games for the fourth time in his career and posted his fourth consecutive sub-3.00 ERA. He gave up four or more runs in four of his last nine starts. Bumgarner pitched six shutout innings on May 1st to beat Syndergaard and the Mets 6-1.
In that game, Syndergaard gave up four runs in 5.2 innings in taking the loss. He got his first taste of postseason action last year and went 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA and struck out 26 in 19 innings. Syndergaard finished third in the NL in ERA (Bumgarner was fourth) and fourth in strikeouts (Bumgarner was third) while putting together one of the top all-around seasons in the league. He is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in three career starts against the Giants.
I still don’t trust the Mets offense especially against someone who they haven’t had any success against. Bumgarner is the real-deal when it comes to big games and there isn’t another pitcher out there I would rather have on the mound in a game like this. The Giants should squeeze together enough runs to pull this one out and advance to Wrigley Field.
Pick: Giants -107