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Preview: Mets at Reds

Current Conditions – Cincinnati
M/CLOUDY 80 °F
Wind: N 9
5-Day Forecast GAME: New York Mets (86-67) at Cincinnati Reds (63-89)
DATE/TIME: Friday, September 25 – 7:10 PM EST
WHERE: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A

The New York Mets have been stumbling down the stretch, but a meeting with the Cincinnati Reds always seems to right the ship for the representatives from Queens. With a magic number of three to clinch their first National League East title since 2006, the Mets vie for their 11th victory in their last 13 contests against the host Reds when they continue their four-game series Friday.

Daniel Murphy improved to 12-for-26 with two homers and six RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak after collecting a run-scoring triple and two singles in Thursday’s 6-4 triumph in the series opener. David Wright is 13-for-39 with seven RBIs in his last 10 contests for New York, which owns a 7 1/2-game lead over second-place Washington with nine to play. While the Mets are preparing for the postseason, the reeling Reds likely have an eye on the offseason after dropping their fifth in a row to remain in the cellar of the NL Central. Joey Votto has recorded four multi-hit performances in his last seven contests and has reached base safely in a career high-tying 41 consecutive games, but is 0-for-3 versus Friday starter Noah Syndergaard.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (8-7, 3.39 ERA) vs. Reds RH Anthony DeSclafani (9-11, 3.79)

Syndergaard suffered his first loss since Aug. 8 after getting blitzed for five runs on seven hits – including two homers – in six innings of a 5-0 setback to the New York Yankees on Saturday. The 23-year-old has been taken deep 11 times in his last eight outings after surrendering just six homers in his previous 11. Syndergaard handcuffed the Reds in their lone previous meeting on June 26, allowing one run on five hits in eight frames to pick up the win.

DeSclafani’s two-game winning streak went by the boards as he yielded five runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss in an 8-4 setback to Milwaukee on Sunday. The 25-year-old had been pitching well by permitting one run in three of his previous four outings. DeSclafani will look to rebound versus New York, against which he struggled mightily by allowing 10 runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings with Miami last season.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York RF Curtis Granderson is 7-for-18 with two homers and four RBIs in four games versus Cincinnati this season.

2. Reds RF Jay Bruce has belted six homers in his last 10 contests.

3. Mets 1B Lucas Duda is 3-for-5 with three doubles in his last two games after going 6-for-39 previously in September.

PREDICTION: Mets 5, Reds 3