The New York Mets get themselves ready for another chilly night against the Chicago Cubs after a tough 3-1 loss in the first game of their series. It will be another 7:40 p.m. ET start as the Mets offense tries to get themselves going against a pitcher with an ERA over 10 to begin the season.
The first-place Mets rank:
-4th in the Majors in pitching (2.87 ERA)
-30th in the Majors in offense (2.92 runs/game)
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 21, 2021
The Mets offense just could not muster any consistent offense against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta in game one. They had no issue getting people on base but failed to score them. Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil highlight the Mets struggles on offense but things are not as bad as they seem. When most players slump, we usually see them increase their strikeout numbers and decrease their walk rate.
Lindor and McNeil are the opposite through their early-season slumps. Lindor has just three strikeouts in 41 at-bats and has nine walks, which puts him in the top-20 in the NL. McNeil also has three strikeouts and half of his hits are for extra bases. Both carry averages of .171 and .162 and it is due to lack of quality contact. It shows in the analytics as Lindor and McNeil are in similar percentiles for average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage. Each of them is too good to carry on the slump longer and it is only a matter of days before they break out of it.
David Peterson makes his third start of the season after one bad and one good outing against the Philadelphia Phillies to begin his season. He allowed six runs in four innings in his first go-around then followed it up with six terrific innings, allowing just one run and striking out 10, tying a career-high. The Cubs offense has barely existed this season but has found success in the power department against lefties. They have nine home runs (3rd in MLB) and a .478 (4th in MLB) slugging percentage against southpaws.
Zach Davies makes his fourth start and has found little success in his prior two. He allowed two runs in 5.2 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates to open up his season but ran into issues after that. Davies faced the Pirates again and lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing seven runs then allowed four runs in the same amount of innings against the Atlanta Braves. The odd part of his season is his inability to finish off innings. Batters are just 3-for-27 (.111) before there are two outs but they jump to 13-for-23 (.565) with two outs. Davies and his 10.32 ERA provide a great opportunity for the Mets to wake their offense up.
Matchup To Lookout For
Zach Davies vs. Michael Conforto: 2-for-10 (.200), 2 Doubles, 5 Walks, 2 Strikeouts
Zach Davies vs. Brandon Nimmo: 3-for-6 (.500), 2 Doubles, Triple, Strikeout