5 things to watch as Mets and Marlins play three-game series at Citi Field

/ Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports
/ Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

Here are five things to watch as the Mets face the Marlins in a three-game series at Citi Field, in what will be New York's penultimate series of the season...

Will Kodai Senga get to 200 strikeouts?

Wednesday's start is Senga's final one of the year, and he'll enter it six strikeouts away from 200 for the season.

Despite fanning just three in his last start -- when he held Miami to two runs in six innings -- Senga's recent history suggests he can hit the 200 K mark.

Prior to last week's start against the Marlins, Senga had reached double-digit strikeouts in three of his prior four starts. In his other start, he struck out five.

If Senga reaches 200 strikeouts, he will become just the second Mets pitcher to accomplish that feat in his rookie season, joining Dwight Gooden, who whiffed an astonishing 276 batters in 1984.

Can the Mets end the Marlins' playoff hopes?

The Marlins -- despite a -51 run differential and a starting rotation that is in shambles -- are just a half game out of the third and final Wild Card spot in the National League with six games remaining in their regular season.

Last week in Miami, the Mets took two of three from the Marlins and easily could've swept them. The Marlins rebounded over the weekend to take two of three from a Brewers team that had already clinched the NL Central, will be the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, and was playing for literally nothing.

This week, if the Mets take two of three or sweep Miami, it would likely end any hope the Marlins have of reaching the postseason.

How is Francisco Alvarez's finger?

Alvarez left Sunday's game against the Phillies early after taking consecutive foul balls off a finger on his left hand.

X-rays taken after the game were negative, but manager Buck Showalter said Alvarez was "in a lot of pain" after getting hit.

Francisco Alvarez
Francisco Alvarez / Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

The Mets were already easing up on Alvarez's playing time with him having played more games this season than any other season of his career, so it stands to reason that he'll get some more rest against the Marlins.

Francisco Lindor's 30/30 quest

If Lindor wants to reach the 30/30 mark, he's going to have to heat up fast.

He has already swiped 30 bases, so that part is out of the way. But as the Mets enter their final six games of the season, Lindor needs three more homers to reach 30.

Lindor hit three homers in a five-game span from July 28 to Aug. 3, and has even hit three in one game -- in September of 2021 against the Yankees at Citi Field -- so it can be done. But the clock is ticking.

Will Pete Alonso finish with a flourish?

Alonso has been scuffling badly over the last week and change, with just three hits in his last 37 at-bats, including zero homers.

Over that stretch, Alonso has been flailing at the plate, striking out a whopping 16 times.

The Polar Bear's quest for 50 homers is almost certainly out the window, since he would need to crush five in the last six games, but it would be nice to see Alonso finish his season on a strong note.