The New York Mets’ 2022 regular season left the team and fans with lots to be proud of but somewhat of an empty feeling as well.

With a doubleheader sweep of the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, the Mets secured just their fourth 100-win season in franchise history and the first since 1988. But in those other three seasons, the Mets were the champions of the National League East division.

This year, with the exception for one day earlier in September, the Mets held the division lead for the entire season until Oct. 1. That was after the second of three losses to the Braves in Atlanta this past weekend, and the series sunk the Mets’ divisional championship hopes.

Due to the new playoff format for 2022 that added a third wild card team to each division and extended the length of the Wild Card Series to a best-of-three format, the Mets will now host the San Diego Padres starting on Friday instead of being able to take the weekend off and prepare for the winner of the Philadelphia vs. St. Louis Wild Card Series (that’s what the Braves are now doing).

How Do the Mets and Padres Matchup?

The Mets will begin the Wild Card Series with the Padres at Citi Field on Friday at 7:37 p.m. Saturday’s game will be at 8:07 p.m., as will Sunday’s Game 3 if necessary. This will be the first postseason meeting between the two clubs. The Mets are making their first playoff appearance since 2016, while San Diego reached the postseason in the Covid-shortened 2020 season and last made the playoffs before that in 2006.

The teams faced each other twice this year, and San Diego took two out of three at both Citi Field and Petco Park.

San Diego did a number on Chris Bassitt in a 13-2 win in June, and Bassitt will likely start the third game of this series, if one is needed. The Padres also defeated Max Scherzer in New York in July, scoring just two runs off him (via an Eric Hosmer home run), but it was enough for a 4-1 Padres victory. San Diego has not faced Jacob DeGrom this year.

Yu Darvish, who will likely start Game 1, is 2-0 vs. the Mets this season, allowing just one run and six hits in 14 innings this year. Blake Snell will likely start Game 2. He was lit up by the Mets back in June in San Diego to the tune of four runs in four innings, but he threw five shutout innings in New York to start a tremendous second-half run for Snell, where he allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of his last 13 starts. The nod for Game 3 would likely go to Joe Musgrove, who allowed four runs in 5.1 innings pitched in his only outing against the Mets this season (an 8-5 NY win), pitching well until this offering to Pete Alonso.

Despite 2022 Results, Mets Are a Heavy Favorite

Perhaps the oddsmakers expect Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer to bounce back after rough starts in Atlanta, but the Mets are the biggest favorite of the four Wild Card Series coming up this weekend. Here are how all the series prices line up at FanDuel.

San Diego Padres+164
New York Mets-194
Tampa Bay Rays+102
Cleveland Guardians-120
Seattle Mariners+148
Toronto Blue Jays-174
Philadelphia Phillies+106
St. Louis Cardinals-124

Oddsmakers likely see a 100-win Mets team, armed with DeGrom and Scherzer, at home against an 89-win Padres team, and installed New York as nearly 2:1 favorites. But a look at the numbers suggest San Diego may be more competitive than that, and an offense headlined by Juan Soto and Manny Machado is also a formidable 1-2 punch.

While the Mets very well may win the series, there’s a ton of value in taking San Diego to advance.

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