After taking three of four from a good Pirates team (and a direct competitor in the National League Wild Card race), the Marlins (29-25) welcome in the team directly above them in the standings, the New York Mets (29-23). The Mets arrive on the heels of a seesaw month of May where they went 14-15. They have dropped their last two series, both three gamers against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, respectively.
On top of already having lost first baseman Lucas Duda for a considerable amount of time due to a stress fracture in his back, they now have this to deal with:
David Wright's injury will require 6-8 weeks of rest from baseball activities during which he will undergo appropriate physiotherapy. #Mets— New York Mets (@Mets) June 3, 2016
The Fish stared down the Pirates offensive juggernaut and ultimately came away winners. Now, they face the opposite problem: The stout pitching of the New York Mets.
Syndergaard is obviously having a great year and Colon is always entertaining, but the starter I'm most looking forward to seeing (the Marlins pummel) is Matt Harvey. Harvey just hasn't been himself this year and it's hard to pinpoint exactly why. One thing we know is that his velocity is down across the board from last season and his pre Tommy John 2013 (fastball velocity is down from almost 96 MPH to a still respectable 94, on average). His strand rate, walk/strikeout ratio, HR/9 are all well off of career norms. Part of it I feel is just plain bad luck, as opponents are smoking him almost seventy points higher then his career average against of .223, AND running a BABIP of .353 off of him (career .286). Maybe he's tipping his pitches. Maybe he doesn't trust his stuff. Maybe this will all normalize in a month.
Time will tell, but for the Marlins sake I hope he doesn't figure it out this go round.
The other side of the coin for the Mets is their somewhat stagnant offense, which strikeouts at a rate similiar to the Brewers (almost 25% of their collective at bats). They don't get on base well, and their lack of speed hinders their scoring ability. As the Pirates offense carries the Pirates pitching, so the Mets pitching must do for the ailing Mets offense.
Hot Mets Hitters (last seven days, minimum ten PA)
Neil Walker - .400/.520/.800
Juan Lagares - .313/.389/.688
Kevin Plawecki/Rene Rivera* - .300/.417/.300
*Virtually identical batting through ten AB's
Cold Mets Hitters (last seven days, minimum ten PA)
Michael Conforto - .067/.125/.067
Yoenis Cespedes - .053/.095/.053
Eric Campbell - .000/.083/.000
Probable Pitching Match-ups
- Friday June 3rd 7:10 ET: Noah Syndergaard vs. Tom Koehler
- Saturday June 4th 4:10 ET: Bartolo Colon vs. Justin Nicolino
- Sunday June 5th 1:10 ET: Matt Harvey vs. Jose Fernandez
Former Marlin: Alejandro De Aza ('07-'09)
Bold Series Prediction: Marlins sweep the Mets aside, take what is theirs.
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