The offseason is over and it’s time to get back to baseball. Opening Day has finally arrived and the New York Mets (0-0) are back in action as they look to return to the postseason for the first time in three years. The Mets hit the road for their first series of the season, beginning a six-game trip with a matchup against the projected National League East favorites, the Washington Nationals (0-0). First pitch for today’s game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET at Nationals Park.
The Nationals had a disappointing season in 2018, going 82-80 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Washington dramatically changed its roster over the winter, allowing Bryce Harper to walk for a record contract in Philadelphia, and focused on building a more complete team. Lefty Patrick Corbin was added to the rotation to form a terrific trio with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg while Brian Dozier, Yan Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, Matt Adams, Trevor Rosenthal, Kyle Barraclough, and Tony Sipp to round out the lineup and bullpen. While the Nationals may not have a true star performer like Harper anymore, they are a much more complete unit, and that has them positioned as a huge threat to reclaim the NL East crown.
The pitching matchup on Opening Day is about as good as you could ask for. The Mets will send the reigning National League Cy Young award winner, Jacob deGrom (10-9, 1.70 ERA in 2018), to the mound fresh off inking his new contract extension. The Nationals will counter with the runner up for that award, righty Max Scherzer (18-7, 2.53 ERA in 2018), who had won the Cy Young in each of the previous two seasons.
New York Mets Lineup:
- The Mets won the season series against the Nationals in 2018, going 11-8 against them, including a 6-3 record at Nationals Park.
- deGrom is 7-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 career starts against the Nationals.
- Scherzer is 9-4 with a 2.43 ERA in 17 career appearances, including 16 starts, against the Mets.
- The big news for the Mets is that Pete Alonso will make his big league debut this afternoon. Alonso drew the starting assignment at first base and will bat second.
- The Mets have been a historically great team on Opening Day, going 36-21 in the first game of the year, which is the highest winning percentage for any team in league history.