The Mets hold their own playoff fate in their hands as the final three games of the regular season approach this weekend, following a date in Miami tonight. In the series-finale tilt the Mets can lower their magic number, which currently stands at four, if Seth Lugo can outduel Marlins youngster Jose Urena.
On the road against the lowly Phillies, the Mets are the on-paper favorites to win not only a Wild Card playoff berth but also a home Wild Card game, as they are on top of three contenders for two spots.
"It's real encouraging," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We've got four to go. We've just got to play them out."
In three contests in South Philly, New York will put Robert Gsellman, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard on the mound to combat whoever the Phillies decide to hurl. Many on the Phils starting rotation are either shut down due or injury or innings limit as the team regroups for 2017.
If the Mets win all of their final games as September wanes, they'll clinch one of the two Wild Card slots. Any loss from San Francisco or St. Louis puts the Mets a little closer to making the playoffs.
It's possible that, should New York clinch prior to Sunday's matinee at Citizens Bank Park, the team holds Syndergaard for the one-game Wild Card game, but those specifics will be worked out later this week.
The Giants have five games left, two versus the Rockies and then a three-game set against the Dodgers at home — who have already clinched the NL West.
The Cardinals also have five division games left, with two against the Reds at home before the Pirates come to town.
Friday's 7:05 is the regular season's last night game, with Saturday (1:05) and Sunday (3:05) falling as afternoon contests — the penultimate game was moved to daylight due to national TV interest.
The Phillies will surely try and play spoilers, as they unofficially bid farewell to Ryan Howard during their final homestand. Expect a little more juice and perhaps a few more fans than usual to watch the lowly Phils close out their season — as Howard is the final member of the team's 2008 World Series winning team left on the squad.