The New York Mets make their first trip to South Beach to take on the Miami Marlins. The Mets look to make it four straight series wins to start their 2018 season. Owner Derek Jeter traded away their stars in the offseason. Many of their players trying to earn a big league job. The Marlins already find themselves in last place in the National League East and it does not look like than will change any time soon.
Probable Pitching Matchups
(4/9, 7:10 PM) Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Jose Urena (0-1, 4.91 ERA)
(4/10, 7:10 PM) Jacob deGrom (2-0, 1.54 ERA) vs. Caleb Smith (0-1, 4.32 ERA)
(4/11, 7:10 PM) Zack Wheeler (Season Debut) vs. Jarlin Garcia (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
The Mets have surprised many by their strong start that has earned them first place in the NL East. Their ability to comeback, strong pitching and clutch hitting was something missing in the 2017 Mets. Manager Mickey Callaway has seemed to push all the right buttons in his first few games as Mets manager.
The Marlins bring in a roster full of under the radar players with Starlin Castro being the star of the team. Third baseman Brian Anderson has had a strong start to the season, hitting .281 with a .410 on base percentage. Pitching will be their biggest issue this season but Jarlin Garcia and his 1.80 ERA is giving hope to what looks to be a mediocre rotation.
New Owner, New Players
Last year the Marlins won 12 of the 19 meetings against the Mets but it will not surprise anyone if the Mets win a majority of this yearâ€™s matchups. Manager Don Mattingly certainly has his work cut out for him this year but his job looks to be secure with Derek Jeter as the owner. Young prospects Lewis Brinson, Dillon Peters and Braxton Lee have struggled to start the season but the organization is banking on them for their future success.
The Mets are searching for a starter to pitch the final game of the series. It was sahping up to be Seth Lugo as Jason Vargas is still recovering from his hand injury. But, the Mets will opt to bring up Zack Wheeler and keep Lugo in the bullpen.
Matchups to Watch For
Wilmer Flores hit .291 with 7 home runs against left handed pitching last season. Expect him to get a lot of playing time in this series with the Marlins pitching two lefties. Michael Conforto is a career .179 hitter against left handed pitching. Those statistics combined with not pushing him too much in his return from the shoulder injury will likely keep him out of the lineup.
In his career, Starlin Castro hits .301 when facing a pitcher for the third time. If Syndergaard and deGrom has to face Castro late in the ballgame, they might be pulled with Callawayâ€™s bullpen philosophy. The Mets have done a great job of working the count this year and in his career batters hit .388 against Urena in 1-0 counts. He is known to lose the strike zone in the past and this can be a recipe for disaster against the Mets.
Yoenis Cespedes only hit .185 in Marlins Park in 2017 after hitting .296 the year before. On the other hand, Cameron Maybin has hit .338 in his career at Marlins Park. It is an encouraging sign for a player who is looking to rebound this season.