After finishing second in the National League East, the New York Mets begin the 2022 postseason at home in the Wild Card round, facing the San Diego Padres.
The matchup against the Padres is certainly not what the New York Mets were wanting on a number of levels. The Wild Card round affords the Mets no bye (therefore, no rest time) and adds more games to the gauntlet that is the NL side of the postseason bracket. However, at 101-61, the Mets have home-field advantage in the Wild Card round and will look to move on to the NLDS, where the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers await.
As the Wild Card round nears, here are 3 bold player predictions for the Mets.
3. Jeff McNeil will be a difference-maker for the New York Mets
OK, picking the National League batting champion as a difference-maker may not seem that bold on the surface, but hear us out on this one.
This season, against the Padres, McNeil has just a .222/.300/.278 slash line in 20 plate appearances. Those numbers are far below his season slash line of .326/.382/.454, so there is plenty of room for McNeil to improve against San Diego.
Mets manager Buck Showalter chose to sit McNeil on the final day of the season, wanting to give him some rest heading into Friday’s Wild Card matchup. That decision will pay off as McNeil will show his hitting prowess against the Padres, erasing those regular-season numbers and giving the Mets a big boost at the plate.