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Series Preview: San Francisco Giants Vs. New York Mets

Jake Peavy will take the mound for the San Francisco Giants in Friday's series opener against the New York Mets.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Peavy will take the mound for the San Francisco Giants in Friday's series opener against the New York Mets. Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
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If the San Francisco Giants are going to continue their even-year trend of winning championships, there’s a good chance they’ll have to take down the New York Mets at some point during the postseason.

That will involve finding ways to overcome New York’s slew of ace-quality pitchers—a group so good that Matt Harvey, who was once the anointed “The Dark Knight,” is now no better than the team’s third-best pitcher.

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The Giants have an opportunity to measure themselves against the defending National League champions this weekend, when they visit New York for a three-game set.

They won’t be facing Harvey, but they will be facing the two pitchers who are better than Harvey.

But first they go against rookie Steve Matz Friday night. After an awful first start, when he couldn’t get out of the second inning after giving up seven runs, Matz has dominated in his next two starts, giving up just two earned runs and strking out 17 over 13⅓ innings. The Giants are sending Jake Peavy to the mound.

Then on Saturday the Giants go up against Jacob DeGromm, who, after posting the sixth-best ERA in the Majors last year, is off to another hot start this year. DeGromm has only started two games so far in 2016, missing time to attend to his ailing newborn child, but he only yielded one run in each of those outings. It will be Matt Cain’s job to keep the Mets bats in check that night.

Then on Sunday comes the marquee pitching matchup of the series, when Madison Bumgarner faces off against Noah Syndergaard, who carries a 1.69 ERA through four starts.

On offense, the Mets have been relying on the long ball, ranking fourth in the National League with 30 home runs. They have been benefitting in large part from a power surge by second baseman Neil Walker, whose nine home runs tie him for the Major League lead with Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.

But Yoenis Cespedes (batting .300 with 6 HR and 17 RBI) and Michael Conforto (.338, 3, 13) are the Mets’ two best hitters and are the ones the Giants will most be focused on stopping.

Other than home runs, however, the Mets rank in the middle of the league in most categories, including runs scored. Their greatest weakness is speed, as they are last in the NL with 4 stolen bases. (The Giants aren’t much better: they rank second to last, with 7 stolen bases.

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