The San Diego Padres have lost seven of their last ten games and will now play a three-game series against the New York Mets. Here is your series preview.
Despite winning the final game of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs, the San Diego Padres are yet to win a series in the second half of the season.
The Padres have only won three of their last 10 games and have slipped to five games below .500. With a record of 47-52, they are still tied for last place in the National League West with the Colorado Rockies. The slide of poor play has also impacted the Padres place in the Wild Card, as they are now five games back from a Wild Card spot. Both the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants have surpassed them in both the NL West and Wild Card standings.
San Diego is set to wrap up their road trip on July 23rd to July 25th as they will visit Citi Field to take on the New York Mets.
At 45-54, the Mets are fourth place in the National League East and are ahead of the Miami Marlins. San Diego and New York have done battle once before earlier in the season. The Padres emerged victorious in the three-game set, taking two out of three from the Mets.
The Mets have some very interesting players on their team, with one even on the Padres’ radar for a possible trade. Jeff McNeil has come out of nowhere to become a contact-oriented leadoff hitter while Amed Rosario has been on quite the hot streak the past month. While the New York bullpen has struggled immensely in the first half of the season, they have been showing signs of life in July.
This three-game series will feature many intriguing matchups. Game 1 will see rising ace Chris Paddack have his rematch with Home Run Derby winner Peter Alonso. The two had a brief spat when Alonso was named National League Rookie of the Month for April and Paddack called out the MLB in an Instagram comment. Paddack proceeded to strike out Alonso twice in three at-bats, with both strikeouts coming on 95+ MPH heat.
Two players to keep an eye on is Noah Syndergaard and Luis Urias. Why these two in particular? With Syndergaard mentioned heavily in trade rumors, the Padres have emerged as one of the more aggressive suitors for the services of “Thor”. One of the players Mets’ general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is rumored to be interested in is Urias, the Padres’ number two prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Depending on how the two perform in the series, a trade between AJ Preller and Van Wagenen could blossom by the end of July.
Players to Watch
After struggling in Miami by going 1-for-13 with eight strikeouts, Tatis rebounded in the series against the Cubs by going 4-for-13 with a home run and five RBIs. Currently on a four-game hitting streak, Tatis missed the series against the Mets due to his hamstring injury so it will be interesting to see how he fares against Syndergaard and 2018 Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. While he has only walked five times in comparison to 22 strikeouts this month, he is still batting .288/.342/.545 in July.
Perhaps the stereotype of participates of the Home Run Derby struggling in the second half is true in Alonso’s case. In the nine games he has played since All-Star Break, Alonso has gone 4-for-34 with 14 strikeouts and five walks. Three of those four hits have been home runs but, even with his ever-present power, his batting average has dropped from .275 to .265 since the beginning of the month. Now, with Alonso getting a rematch with Paddack after “The Sherrif” won Round 1 on May 6th, Alonso will be motivated to win Round 2 and break his cold spell.