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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 (88-67) at Cincinnati Reds (63-91)
DATE/TIME: Sunday, September 27 – 1:10 PM EST
WHERE: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A

If the New York Mets couldn’t clinch the National League East for the first time since 2006 at Citi Field, it was fitting that it happened at the venue that probably feels like their second home – Great American Ball Park. The Mets, who ended a nine-year playoff drought with a 10-2 rout on Saturday, seek their 11th straight road victory and look to sweep the season series from the Reds one day later when the teams complete a four-game set in Cincinnati.

New York (88-67) improved to 26-15 all-time at Great American Ball Park following Saturday’s triumph, giving the newly-crowned NL East champions their seventh straight win over the Reds while also setting the franchise record for the longest road winning streak. The Mets have been surging on the road for more than a month, however, winning 18 of their last 20 such contests. Cincinnati (63-91) has dropped seven in a row to fall into last place in the NL Central and is already on the verge of one of the worst seasons in franchise history as seven of its final eight games are against teams that have already qualified for the postseason. The Reds have been outscored 28-11 this weekend and 39-15 in the six meetings overall this season.

TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Jacob deGrom (13-8, 2.64 ERA) vs. Reds RH Keyvius Sampson (2-5, 6.45)

Having already eclipsed his career high in innings, deGrom will return to the mound for the first time in 12 days in an effort to improve on his 1-1 record and lower his 5.50 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in three September turns. The Stetson product was tagged for a career-high tying six earned runs on 10 hits in five frames against Miami Sept. 15, marking the second time in five outings he allowed at least that many earned runs. The 27-year-old deGrom, who has never faced Cincinnati, is 7-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 14 road starts this season.

Sampson halted a three-start losing streak with a no-decision on Tuesday in St. Louis after yielding one run on four hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. The 24-year-old rookie is winless in seven turns since going 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in his first four career appearances (three starts) and has not logged a quality start in any of his last eight trips to the mound. Sampson has struggled mightily at home (0-4, 8.31) and will attempt to pick up his first career victory at Great American Ball Park when he squares off with the Mets for the first time.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Mets have scored three or more runs in a league-record tying 30 straight road games, matching the mark set by the 1912 New York Giants.

2. Cincinnati 1B Joey Votto has reached base in 43 consecutive games, two shy of matching the best mark in the majors this season and five short of the team mark set by Pete Rose in 1978.

3. New York 1B Lucas Duda has reached base safely in 11 of his last 17 plate appearances, recording three homers, three doubles, five walks and 12 RBIs over that stretch.

PREDICTION: Mets 8, Reds 3