MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The New York Mets cruise into the final month of the season with a 6 1/2-game lead in the National League East and a schedule that sets up nicely.

The Mets will continue their tour of disappointing NL East rivals when they visit the Marlins for the opener of a three-game series. New York took two of three from last-place Philadelphia to end its homestand and will sandwich series at Miami and Atlanta around a showdown at Washington on the 10-game trip.

The Mets should be happy to hit the road after pounding out 73 runs while finishing off their last road trip with seven straight wins. The Marlins, who were swept in a three-game set at New York from Aug. 3-5, come in with some momentum after outscoring the Atlanta Braves 18-4 in a three-game sweep.

Tom Koehler will try to keep that run of strong pitching going and end a string of seven straight losing decisions when he goes up against Mets All-Star Jacob deGrom on Friday.

PITCHING MATCH UP

Mets RH Jacob deGrom (12-7, 2.32 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Tom Koehler (8-13, 4.12)

DeGrom struggled through illness at Philadelphia on Aug. 24 and was lit up for six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings but bounced back with a solid start on Saturday. He struck out 10 and allowed two runs and four hits in six innings but suffered the loss to Boston in a 3-1 final.

The 27-year-old deGrom is facing Miami for the second time this season and picked up a win by scattering six hits over seven scoreless innings at home against the Marlins on Apr. 18.

Koehler has been reached for at least five earned runs in four of his last seven starts. The New York native is trying to bounce back after surrendering five runs on nine hits – three home runs – in six innings at Washington on Saturday. Koehler was ripped for seven runs – six earned – on seven hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Mets on Aug. 3.

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