New York Mets Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (9/17-19)

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Mets come off a series loss against the Boston Red Sox and will head down to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies. The Mets have had a solid second half so far going 30-25 behind their starting pitching and young bats. The Phillies have struggled mightily during the second half going 23-29 and have gone 4-10 in September and fell out of playoff contention. The Mets have the advantage in the season series taking 10 of the 16 games against their division rivals.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(9/17, 7:05 PM) Zack Wheeler (11-7, 3.23 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.66 ERA)

(9/18, 7:05 PM) Steven Matz (5-11, 4.18 ERA) vs. Aaron Nola (16-5, 2.42 ERA)

(9/19, 6:05 PM) Noah Syndergaard (12-3, 3.26 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (10-7, 4.26 ERA)

Wheeler > deGrom?

Since the All-Star break it is hard to believe anyone could pitch better than Jacob deGrom, but Zack Wheeler has done it. Wheeler has a 1.32 ERA and has struck out 69 batters in 68 innings. He attributes his success to completely letting go whenever he is on the mound instead of trying to keep himself fresh for later in the game. The big four of deGrom, Wheeler, Matz and Syndergaard give the Mets hope they will compete in 2019.

It is pretty evident the Mets will not make the playoffs, but their next loss will officially knock them out of playoff contention. That next loss will also prevent the Mets from finishing over the .500 mark for the second straight season. After a tremendous 11-1 start to the season, the Mets quickly faded and were under .500 by June 1st due to their abundance of injuries and managerial blunders.

Phading Phills

The Phillies were once the Cinderella story of the National League but the dream has turned into a nightmare over the last two weeks. The are currently five games out of the wild card and 6.5 out of the division. No matter how the Phillies finish this season it will be a surprise and a major improvement from last season. The free agency market will have plenty of pieces for the Phillies to bring in and they have the money to strike a deal with Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

Aaron Nola is one of the three front runners for the 2018 Cy Young in the NL. His 16 wins puts him in a tie for second place in the NL and will certainly earn votes from the medieval voters who feel wins are more important than ERA. At age 25, Nola has finally put it all together and will certainly deserve every single vote he gets for Cy Young. He will lead this Phillies rotation for the years to come.

Matchups to Lookout For

Justin Bour vs. Noah Syndergaard: 6-21 (.286) Double, 8 Strikeouts

Cesar Hernandez vs. Noah Syndergaard: 8-20 (.400) 3 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Todd Frazier vs. Jake Arrieta: 6-20 (.300) Double, 2 Home Runs, 7 Strikeouts

Michael Conforto vs. Aaron Nola: 3-18 (.167) Home Run, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Seth Lugo vs. First Batter of the Inning in 2018: 16-88 (.182) 2 Double, 7 Walks, 20 Strikeouts

Jake Arrieta ERA in Wins/Losses: 1.57/7.06

New York Mets Series Preview: Miami Marlins (9/11-9/13)

The New York Mets start September strong by taking six out of eight games and welcome in the Miami Marlins for a four game series. The Mets strong starting pitching has allowed them to have such a successful last couple of weeks. The Marlins have been out of contention almost from the beginning of the season because of the depletion of their roster in the offseason. The Mets have the upper hand in the season series taking seven of the 12 games.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(9/11, 7:10 PM) Jose Urena (5-12, 4.41 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (8-8, 1.68 ERA)

(9/12, 4:10 PM) Jeff Brigham (0-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (10-7, 3.39 ERA)

(9/12, Right After Game 1) Trevor Richards (3-8, 4.73 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (5-9, 6.75 ERA)

(9/13, 7:10 PM) Sandy Alcantara (2-0, 0.75 ERA) vs. TBD

Will Wins Cost deGrom a Cy Young?

Jacob deGrom is making one of his last few starts in his push toward the Cy Young award. In his last start he broke the major league record by having a 25th consecutive start of allowing three runs of less. With the wins stat completely outdated deGrom should be the easy choice for the Cy Young, but baseball writers will always have medieval thinking which might hurt deGrom in the voting process.

The youth movement the Mets have had over the last couple of weeks has led to their better play. Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith are just three of the recent hitters to lead the Mets. Rosario and Smith have renewed, but opposite approaches at the plate. Rosario has shown more patience and Smith has been more aggressive in his recent call-up to the big leagues. McNeil has produced one of the highest contact rates since his debut and has hit .340.

Long Season Almost Over For the Marlins

The Marlins have not had a month over .500 this season and likely will not get over that hump in September. Their roster currently consists of prospects, below average players and a few solid everyday players. J.T. Realmuto is undoubtedly the best player on the roster and will likely be a piece Derek Jeter and the Marlins front office will build around. He has hit .287 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs which are both career highs.

Starlin Castro has been one of the most consistent players over this decade and his continued his success this season. Castro has recorded 30 doubles for the first time since 2014 and will couple that with a .288 average. The rise in doubles is likely due to the move from the bandbox that was Yankee Stadium to the spacious Marlins Park. Castro has remained on the top of his game even with the drop off in talent level around him.

Matchups to Lookout For

Derek Dietrich vs. Jacob deGrom: 5-23 (.217) Walk, 12 Strikeouts

J.T. Realmuto vs. Jacob deGrom: 3-19 (.158) 6 Strikeouts

Jose Reyes vs. Jose Urena: 6-18 (.333) Double, Triple, Strikeout

Jay Bruce vs. Jose Urena: 5-15 (.333) Double, 2 Home Runs, Walk, 3 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Zack Wheeler in the Second Half of 2018: 7-1, 1.50 ERA, 60 Innings Pitched, 39 Hits, 10 Earned Runs, 12 Walks, 62 Strikeouts

J.T. Realmuto when swinging at the first pitch in 2018: 21-47 (.447) 10 Doubles, Triples, 3 Home Runs

New York Mets Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers (9/3-9/5)

The New York Mets will continue their trip through California in Los Angeles, where they will take on the Dodgers. The Mets come off a series win against the San Francisco Giants, where they were carried by their starting pitching. The Dodgers are red hot and just swept the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers also swept the Mets when they came to Queens earlier this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(9/3, 8:10 PM) Jacob deGrom (8-8, 1.68 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (8-6, 3.42 ERA)

(9/4, 10:10 PM) Jason Vargas (5-8, 6.56 ERA) vs. Rich Hill (6-5, 3.59 ERA)

(9/5, 7:35 PM) Zack Wheeler (9-7, 3.37 ERA) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.24 ERA)

Solid Starting Pitching

The Mets starting pitching has been tremendous during this trip through the rotation. During the last five games, Mets starters have combined for 36.1 innings, 5 Runs and 47 strikeouts. Every starter has reached their potential during this hot streak and it will be up to the offense to decide a winner in these games. Somehow the Mets have only won three out of those five games.

Jacob deGrom takes the mound trying to continue his brilliance over the entire league. The entire Cy Young award chase surrounds three pitchers in the NL East. deGrom, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola are the front runners to win the award. deGrom will have another tough test against a lineup that features Manny Machado, Max Muncy and Matt Kemp. deGrom has allowed three runs or less in 24 consecutive starts and has six straight starts of allowing two runs or less.

Muncy’s Emergence

With the likes of Manny Machado, Matt Kemp and Cody Bellinger in their lineup, Max Muncy has emerged out of no where to lead the Dodgers offense. He leads the team with 31 home runs and a .582 slugging percentage. Muncy only has 85 hits and 31 of them have been home runs which makes his season even more impressive.

The Dodgers incredible weekend series against the Diamondbacks catapulted them back into first place in the NL West. Despite many injuries they finally seem to have a rotation in place that can bring them back to the World Series. Clayton Kershaw has been one of those injury riddled pitchers but has still been dominant with a 2.40 ERA. Kershaw is still chasing his elusive ring and at age 30 his dominant years are slowly running out.

Matchups to Lookout For

Brian Dozier vs. Jason Vargas: 7-29 (.241) Double, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Chase Utley vs. Jacob deGrom: 4-19 (.211) Double, 4 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Wilmer Flores vs. Alex Wood: 5-16 (.313) Double, Home Run, 2 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Austin Jackson vs Alex Wood: 2-10 (.200) Double, 3 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Kevin Plawecki Batting 8th in 2018: 18-50 (.360) 4 Doubles, Triple, 3 Home Runs, 6 Walks, 13 Strikeouts

Yasiel Puig when leading off an inning in 2018: 27-76 (.355) 6 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 13 Walks, 13 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Chicago Cubs (8/27-8/29)

The New York Mets will fly to the windy city to take on the Chicago Cubs in a three game series. The Mets just finished taking two out of three against the Washington Nationals, but they lost the final game of the series 15-0. The Cubs sit in first place in the NL Central and have been red hot in the month of August. They just finished a four game sweep against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs manhandled the Mets when they swept a four game series at Citi Field earlier this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/27, 8:05 PM) Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 3.38 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (14-5, 3.64 ERA)

(8/28, 8:05 PM) Jacob deGrom (8-8, 1.71 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (9-9, 3.82 ERA)

(8/29, 2:20 PM) Jason Vargas (4-8, 6.96 ERA) vs. Alec Mills (0-0, 1.17 ERA)

Mets Solid Starters

The Mets starting pitching has been brilliant over their last nine games. No starter has allowed more than three runs and the Mets have received contributions from everybody. Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler have been wonderful, but Jason Vargas has finally looked like he has figured it out. His last two starts were exactly what the Mets were looking for when they signed him in the offseason. Hopefully the Mets can build on this rotation for the rest of the season.

The Mets welcomed back Jay Bruce over the weekend, but might have lost Jeff McNeil. Bruce had a solid weekend, recording a hit in all three games. He homered Friday, doubled Saturday and singled on Sunday. McNeil was in the midst of a 11-game hitting streak before he was removed in the sixth inning. The Mets described the injury as “right quad tightness” and said it will not be a major issue. Judging injuries with the Mets is a crap shoot and the original diagnosis is usually not the one that sticks.

Hamels is Verlander 2.0

Cole Hamels has been a better pitcher since Jacob deGrom since the Cubs acquired him from the Texas Rangers. Hamels is 4-0 and has only allowed three runs in 34 innings pitched with the Cubs. Many people thought Hamels was past his prime, but much like Justin Verlander last year, when thrown into a pennant race his level of play went to another level. Hamels has faced the Mets countless times over his career, but this is the first time he will face them since 2015.

The Mets thought they would be seeing Daniel Murphy this past weekend against the Nationals, but his trade to the Cubs changed all of those plans. With Addison Russell and Kris Bryant on the disabled list, the Cubs needed a bat to fill their void. Murphy has gone 9-for-21 with the Cubs and has already batted lead off for Joe Maddon. He showed the Cubs what he was capable of in the 2015 postseason and they hope to catch lightning in a bottle this year.

Matchups to Lookout For

Jose Bautista vs. Jon Lester: 14-62 (.226) 3 Doubles, 5 Home Runs, 9 Walks, 13 Strikeouts

Jose Reyes vs. Cole Hamels: 22-59 (.373) 6 Doubles, 5 Walks, 10 Strikeouts

Ben Zobrist vs. Jason Vargas: 12-29 (.414) 4 Doubles, Home Run, 3 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Daniel Murphy vs. Noah Syndergaard: 4-18 (.222) 2 Doubles, 2 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Seth Lugo vs. Leadoff Hitter in the Inning in 2018: 14-77 (.182) 7 Walks, 15 Strikeouts

David Bote at Home in 2018: 17-53 (.321) 2 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 15 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Washington Nationals (8/24-8/26)

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

The New York Mets will take on the new look Washington Nationals for a three game weekend series. The Mets come off a split of a four game series against the San Francisco Giants, a series they could have very easily swept. The Nats took the first two games against the Philadelphia Phillies, but lost the series finale that was dominated by Aaron Nola. The season series is currently split 6-6.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/24, 7:10 PM) Gio Gonzalez (7-10, 4.51 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (3-8, 7.67 ERA)

(8/25, 4:10 PM) Tanner Roark (8-12, 4.05 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (8-6, 3.63 ERA)

(8/26, 1:10 PM) Jefry Rodriguez (1-1, 5.46 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (5-10, 4.55 ERA)

McLovin, McNeil

Jeff McNeil has been the Mets best hitter over the last two weeks. Over the last seven games he has gone 14-26 and had a streak of eight consecutive at-bats with a hit. Overall, he is hitting .330 with a .495 slugging percentage and only 11 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances. McNeil currently has the highest contact rate in all of baseball which sits around the 50% mark. His hot start to his career makes him the top option at second base for now and hopefully the 2019 season.

Jason Vargas has managed to put together good consecutive starts for the first time this season. He threw six innings of two run ball against the Baltimore Orioles then followed that by allowing two runs in 5.1 innings against the Phillies. Vargas was signed to put together those types of starts. The Mets rotation becomes one of the best in the game when allowing two runs over five innings is something they consistently get out of their fifth starter.

Is the Nats Season Over?

The Nationals have been one of the biggest disappointments of this season. Many analysts had the Nats as their World Series champions. They have been extremely inconsistent all season which has kept them hovering around the .500 mark all season. A perfect example of their season was pulling out a win after being down to their final out against the Phillies then losing a pitchers duel to them the following day. They are eight games out of the NL East and 6.5 out of the wild card, with time quickly running out on their season.

As a result of their inconsistent play, they have dealt many of their important players. It started with trading Brandon Kintzler and releasing Shawn Kelly. They really started to give up on their season when they dealt Matt Adams and Daniel Murphy away. Bryce Harper was also claimed off of waivers by the Dodgers, but neither side could work out a deal. It would be surprising if the Nationals do not trade Harper because he is most likely moving on to a World Series contender in the offseason.

Matchups to Lookout For

Wilmer Flores vs. Gio Gonzalez: 6-28 (.214) Home Run, 3 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Bryce Harper vs. Zack Wheeler: 5-24 (.208) Home Run, 2 Walks, 11 Strikeouts

Anthony Rendon vs. Zack Wheeler: 8-23 (.348) 4 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

Michael Conforto vs. Tanner Roark: 4-20 (.200) 2 Doubles, Home Run, 4 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Ryan Zimmerman against Lefties in 2018: 22-55 (.400) 4 Doubles, 5 Home Runs, 9 Walks, 9 Strikeouts

Seth Lugo Pitching in the 7th inning in 2018: 15 Innings Pitched, 6 Hits, 18 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: San Francisco Giants (8/20-8/23)

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

The New York Mets come off a strong 7-4 road trip in which they finally saw their offense hit consistently. They will face the San Francisco Giants for the first time this season and they come in with a 61-64 record. The Giants have dropped four straight and are slowly falling out of the postseason picture. Last season the Mets won five of the six meetings against the Giants.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/20, 7:10 PM) Derek Holland (6-8, 3.83 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (8-6, 3.75 ERA)

(8/21, 7:10 PM) TBD vs. Steven Matz (5-10, 4.60 ERA)

(8/22, 7:10 PM) Casey Kelly (0-1, 1.69 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (8-3, 3.40 ERA)

(8/23, 1:10 PM) Madison Bumgarner (4-5, 3.05 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (8-7, 1.71 ERA)

Mets Offense Comes to Life

On their 11-game road trip the Mets scored 83 runs including a 24 run outburst against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the most runs ever scored by the Mets in one game and single handedly erased the 25-4 loss against the Washington Nationals. Amed Rosario, Austin Jackson and Jeff McNeil have turned in a very hot couple of weeks to make cases why they should remain in starting roles next season.

Brandon Nimmo has landed on the 10-day DL with the finger injury he has been dealing with. There is no structural damage to the finger but the Mets will be very cautious with their best offensive player this season. He should be ready for action once his time on the DL comes to an end. Dom Smith will remain on the roster to take Nimmo’s spot.

Day Game Pitcher’s Duel

The final game of the series promised to be a very good pitchers duel. Madison Bumgarner has returned to his ace form and Jacob deGrom is coming off a complete game shutout against the Phillies. Mets fans will remember the complete game shutout Mad-Bum hurled against the Mets in the 2016 wild card game. deGrom has not had it easy in his last couple starts. He faced and outpitched Luis Severino and Jake Arrieta his last two starts. He will try to do the same in this start against Bumgarner.

Matchups to Lookout For

Jose Bautista vs. Derek Holland: 5-25 (.200) Double, Home Run, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Austin Jackson vs. Derek Holland: 5-21 (.238) 2 Doubles, Home Run, 5 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

Hunter Pence vs. Jacob deGrom: 6-17 (.353) Double, Home Run, Walk, 5 Strikeouts

Buster Posey vs. Jacob deGrom: 4-14 (.286) Double, Home Run, Walk, Strikeout

Interesting Stats

Reyes Moronta Pitching With RISP in 2018: 8-49 (.163) 2 Doubles, 8 Walks, 18 Strikeouts

Jose Bautista Batting Sixth in 2018: 14-39 (.359) 4 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 8 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles (8/14-8/15)

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Mets had a quick turn around after winning their makeup game against the New York Yankees. They will take on the Baltimore Orioles in a battle of two of the worst teams in baseball. The Mets have won four out of five on the back of their strong starting pitching. The Orioles have lost five straight and are on pace to finish with the worst record in baseball. The Orioles took two games from the Mets earlier this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/14, 7:05 PM) Jason Vargas (2-8, 8.75 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (3-10, 4.85 ERA)

(8/15, 7:05 PM) Zack Wheeler (7-6, 3.82 ERA) vs. TBD

Wheeler On a Roll

Zack Wheeler has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball over the last two months. He has a 1.34 ERA in the second half and a lot of it has to do with the rise in his velocity. Wheeler has thrown with his full effort on all his pitches instead of trying to conserve his energy to get deeper in the game. He is facing a very poor Orioles offense and will have a chance to keep up his hot streak.

Jason Vargas has been a complete failure this season and has not looked like a professional pitcher at any point this season. The $8 million that the Mets owe him over this season and the following season are likely the only reasons he still gets opportunities to pitch. With Corey Oswalt undoubtedly pitching better than Vargas, it certainly forces the Mets to decide on which direction they want to go in the future.

Last Place Orioles

The Orioles are one of the only teams whose season has been worse than the Mets. They have traded two of their best players in Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop and are in a complete rebuild mode. They rank in the bottom five in almost every offensive and pitching stat in the American League. Manager Buck Showalter’s contract expires at the end of the season and the Orioles have not discussed bringing him back for the 2019 season.

Adam Jones was rumored to be traded at the deadline, but chose to remain in Baltimore for personal reasons. He was recently moved to right field for the young prospect Cedric Mullins and Jones welcomed the move with open arms. Mullins has gone 5-13 to start his career and Jones has become a mentor to the young prospect. Jones is one of the most stand-up guys in baseball and his unselfishness will make him a welcomed member to any team next season.

Matchups To Lookout For

Adam Jones vs. Jason Vargas: 6-32 (.188) 2 Doubles, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Craig Gentry vs. Jason Vargas: 5-23 (.217) 2 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Todd Frazier vs. Andrew Cashner: 5-13 (.385) 5 Doubles, Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Kevin Plawecki vs. Andrew Cashner: 2-8 (.250) Double, 2 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Zack Wheeler against the 3-hitter in 2018: 21-61 (.344) 3 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 6 Walks, 16 Strikeouts

Miguel Castro ERA during Away and Home Games: 3.86

New York Mets Series Preview: Miami Marlins (8/10-8/12)

The bottom dwellers in the National League East will face off in Miami as the New York Mets will take on the Miami Marlins. The Mets took two out of three against the Cincinnati Reds and had an outburst of eight runs in the final game of the series. The Marlins have lost eight of their last nine games and just lost two out three against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets have a slight edge in the season series, taking 5 out of 9 games.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/10, 7:10 PM) Zack Wheeler (6-6, 3.89 ERA) vs. Jose Urena (3-11, 4.66 ERA)

(8/11, 7:10 PM) Corey Oswalt (1-2, 5.13 ERA) vs. Dan Straily (4-5, 4.35 ERA)

(8/12, 1:10 PM) Noah Syndergaard (7-2, 3.17 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (4-8, 5.48 ERA)

Wheeler Tapping Into His Potential

Zack Wheeler has been pitching like the number one prospect the Mets traded Carlos Beltran for. He had a 3.13 ERA in July and put together seven shutout innings in his first start of August. Wheeler threw the only shutout of his career against the Marlins, in Miami. The elements are certainly in Wheeler’s favor to continue his dominance.

Austin Jackson has been a pleasant surprise to the Mets ever since they signed him off the free agent market. In 11 games he is hitting .438 with a .688 slugging percentage and has taken away playing time from fellow veteran Jose Bautista. Jackson does not have the range he once had in center field, but still remains the only true center fielder on the roster. He will get a long leash the same way Matt den Dekker did and this leash should allow Jackson to finish the season as a Met.

Marlins and Their Rebuild

It has been apparent since the offseason that the Marlins were going to tank the entire season. They shipped away all of their high payroll players for prospects and cheaper alternatives to fill their roster. Starlin Castro was one of those players, but he is putting up his typical numbers. He is hitting .285 with 127 hits and it was surprising to see that he remained with the Marlins at the trade deadline.

J.T. Realmuto is the last major trade piece left on the Marlins roster. He is one of the best catchers in baseball and will certainly draw a huge package in any trade he is included in. He has 24 doubles, 14 home runs and is one of the faster catchers in baseball. Realmuto has always put up good numbers against the Mets, hitting .303 over his career.

Matchups to lookout for

Jose Reyes vs. Jose Urena: 6-18 (.333) Double, Triple, Strikeout

Justin Bour vs. Noah Syndergaard: 5-17 (.294) Double, 7 Strikeouts

Derek Dietrich vs. Noah Syndergaard: 6-15 (.400) 2 Doubles, 2 Strikeouts

Jose Reyes vs. Wei-Yin Chen: 4-15 (.267) Double, 3 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Brandon Nimmo in High Leverage Situations in 2018: 10-52 (.192) 2 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 7 Walks, 20 Strikeouts

J.T. Realmuto this month: 1-23 (.043) 6 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds (8/6-8/8)

The New York Mets welcome in the Cincinnati Reds after dropping three out of four games to the Atlanta Braves. The Mets offense struggled once again as they did not score more than four runs in any of the games. The Reds come off three straight losses in Washington against the Nationals. The Reds took two out of three from the Mets earlier this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/6, 7:10 PM) Homer Bailey (1-8, 5.87 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.98 ERA)

(8/7, 7:10 PM) Sal Romano (6-9, 5.12 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (2-7, 8.23 ERA)

(8/8, 12:10 PM) TBD vs. Jacob deGrom (5-7, 1.85 ERA)

Will deGrom Ever Get a Win Again?

Jeff McNeil had a terrific series against the Braves. He put together his first four hit game and had five hits in the series. McNeil has also showcased his powerful bat to all fields and is a solid defender at second base. The Mets are way out of the postseason picture and with the trade of Asdrubal Cabrera, the rest of the season will be used as a tryout for McNeil. The Mets would certainly be happy if he could be their everyday second baseman so they can focus their money elsewhere in the offseason.

Jacob deGrom has dominated during day games over his career and he will take the mound for one in the last game of the series. It has been over a month since he last pitched during the day. deGrom has pitched to a 1.99 ERA during day games over his career and combining that with his 1.85 ERA this season should lead to another terrific start from the Mets ace. The only problem is will the Mets even score to support him?

The Dark Knight Returns

After starting the season 3-15 and firing their manager, the Reds have gone on to play respectable 46-47 baseball since Jim Riggleman took over as manager. The Reds have very promising pieces in Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez, but their starting pitching is far away from supporting their team. Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen have shifted nicely from starters to relievers and are also pieces to build on for the Reds future.

Surprisingly, the lowest ERA by a Reds starter is Matt Harvey’s 4.79. The former Dark Knight is not going to pitch against the Mets in this series, but it will be his first time back to Citi Field since he was traded in May. The Mets traded Harvey for Devin Mesoraco and both player adapted to their new homes nicely. The Mets will give Harvey a video tribute and it will be interesting to see how the fans greet him.

Matchups to Look Out For

Scooter Gennett vs. Jacob deGrom: 5-16 (.313) 2 Doubles, Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Eugenio Suarez vs. Noah Syndergaard: 4-12 (.333) Strikeout

Jose Reyes vs. Homer Bailey: 2-10 (.200) Double, Walk, Strikeout

Brandon Nimmo vs. Sal Romano: 2-8 (.250) Triple, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Eugenio Suarez vs. LHP in 2018: 35-92 (.380) 6 Doubles, 8 Home Runs, 18 Walks, 20 Strikeouts

Noah Syndergaard vs. The Leadoff Hitter in Any Inning in 2018: 25-81 (.309) 6 Doubles, Triple, Home Run, Walk, 23 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Washington Nationals (7/30-7/31)

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

After splitting a four game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a day off, the New York Mets play a short two game series against the Washington Nationals. The Mets have been better in the second half as they have gone 5-4 since the All-Star break. The Nationals have struggled to get out of their own way and they currently sit at 52-53. The Mets have won six of the ten games against the Nats this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(7/30, 7:05 PM) Steven Matz (5-8, 3.79 ERA) vs. Tanner Roark (4-12, 4.55 ERA)

(7/31, 12:05 PM) TBD vs. Tommy Milone (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

Wheeler On The Move?

After news of the Mets holding on to Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler remains as the final big trade piece the team holds. Wheeler has molded into the great pitcher he was projected to be and will likely draw a lot in return. The Yankees, Phillies, Braves and Brewers have emerged as the top four landing spots for Wheeler. Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco are also possible players on the move, but trade talks have been quiet for them.

After Asdrubal Cabrera was shipped to the Phillies, Jeff McNeil has been handed a chance to show what he can do at the major league level. McNeil has gone 3-12 in his short big league stint so far but has a .500 on-base percentage. The second base position will be a revolving door for the rest of the season until someone starts to show they can hit at a consistent pace. Phil Evans and Jose Reyes will certainly get a fair shot to hold down the spot as well.

Capital Disaster

If the Mets and Baltimore Orioles hold the top two spots for the biggest mess of 2018, the Nationals are secure in the third spot. The superstars on the team do not hustle, there is fighting in the dugout and all the fingers are being pointed at rookie manager Dave Martinez. The clubhouse is controlled by the selfish and polarizing personalities of Bryce Harper and Trea Turner. Both players have incredible talent but it is clear Harper is looking past 2018 and both players put themselves ahead of their teammates.

The Nationals were predicted to be World Series champions at the beginning of the season but they have looked far from that all season. In a year full of disappointment, they have received a wonderful season from 19-year old rookie Juan Soto. Soto has bursted on to the seen putting up a slash line of .310/.418/.567 and will likely be the NL Rookie of the Year. He also gives the Nationals insurance if Harper decided to leave in the off season.

Matchups to Lookout For

Michael Conforto vs. Tanner Roark: 4-17 (.235) 2 Double, Home Run, 4 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Michael Taylor vs. Steven Matz: 4-17 (.235) Home Run, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Trea Turner vs. Steven Matz: 2-16 (.125) Double, Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Wilmer Flores vs. Tanner Roark: 3-15 (.200) Doubles, 3 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Jose Bautista w/RISP in 2018: 13-40 (.325) 5 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 13 Walks, 11 Strikeouts

Trea Turner vs. SP in his first time through the order in 2018: 18-93 (.194) 3 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 27 Strikeouts