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Mets won’t play David Wright against Braves because Atlanta is fighting for home field advantage

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On Tuesday, the Mets activated third baseman David Wright from the 60-day disabled list. The 35-year-old hasn’t played in a big league game since May 27, 2016 as he has been dealing with shoulder, neck, and back issues.

The Mets’ plan was to activate Wright today then start him on September 29, the penultimate game of the season. He was reportedly available to play in the Mets’ current series against the Braves, but SNY’s Andy Martino reports that isn’t the case. Assistant GM John Ricco said that it is “pretty unlikely” Wright appears in a game over the next three days. The reason is because the Mets know the Braves are fighting for home field advantage and don’t want to use Wright in a meaningful game. Everyone knows playing Wright is more of a stunt, meant to give him a proper send-off and a last hurrah for the fans.

The only problem with this line of reasoning is that the Mets carried José Reyes on the roster for the entire season. He has been terrible from the moment the season began, currently holding a .190/.263/.321 batting line. The Mets willingly started Reyes 46 times this season, including seven times against the Braves. The Mets have gone 4-12 against the Braves this year.

At one point during the season, the Mets were hoping Reyes — charged with domestic violence in 2015 — would hold a retirement news conference. He didn’t. So the Mets still carried him on the roster for some reason, playing him in games that were, ultimately, meaningful in some fashion.

The 88-68 Braves are three games behind the Cubs (91-65) and one and a half behind the Brewers (90-67) for the best record in the National League. The team that finishes with the best record faces the winner of the NL Wild Card game and gets home field advantage through the NLCS. So, yes, the Mets’ series with the Braves is meaningful, so too were their games with the Braves (and other teams) earlier this season when they had already given up all pretense of winning and willingly started Reyes.

The Mets, by the way, plan to start Reyes at shortstop to Wright’s left in his farewell game on Saturday, per James Wagner of the New York Times. How fitting.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.