Fresh off of the revenge sweep of the Phillies, the Braves face off against the other team dwelling in the NL East basement: The New York Mets. The last time we saw the Mets was late April, before the Braves had skidded into their streaky tendencies. The Mets have slowly faded from being a team with the potential to have a winning record into obscurity.
The Mets have had very little luck in their offensive attack this season. Franchise cornerstone and a usually reliable producer David Wright is more than struggling with a sub .400 slugging percentage. Ruben Tejada has posted a respectable walk rate, but otherwise has hit like the same old Tejada. And this seems to be a reoccurring theme to the Mets lineup. Curtis Granderson is still Curtis Granderson, scraping by with a respectable on base and a few homers, but little else. Juan Lagares has struggled to produce in wake of a couple of trips to the disabled list, but has posted his expected remarkable centerfield defense, good for a DRS of 13. Travis d’Arnaud has continued his struggles, breaking even with a nice, round .600 OPS. d’Arnaud’s struggles have been a damper on the Mets immediate future, as the Mets have already cut ties with one time star blue chip prospect Ike Davis earlier this season.
Davis’ absence has been replaced with a respectable season from Lucas Duda, slashing .255/.347/.477 with a dozen homers. The real positive for the Mets is that Duda no longer plays the outfield. The Mets have plenty of other bodies for that (in my opinion, too many). Daniel Murphy is the real lineup standout, leading the NL in hits with 101, good for a .301/.351/.417 line and a 2.4 fWAR.
Tonight’s starter Zack Wheeler has put up some great peripherals so far, and has been the Mets pitcher with a 9.2 K/9 and a 3.28 FIP. Consistency has not followed for the infamous Bartolo Colon, who has had a much harder time striking out hitters, but is also walking a miniscule 1.3 per 9. Luckily or unluckily, the Braves will not face off against Colon, but instead rotation stop gaps Dice-K and Jacob deGrom. Dice-K has only started 6 games for the Mets this season, but alongside his time in the bullpen he has posted a respectable 8.3 K/9, but a scary bad 5.9 BB/9 that is dragging his FIP into the 4′s. Hopefully the strikeout prone Braves can take advantage of Dice-K’s tendency to be a little wild.
The Mets bullpen has been short of solid, as expected. Closer Jenrry Mejia is a classic hard throwing strikeout, walk, or bust pitcher (The Mets have to keep the spirit of Manny Acosta, I guess). The Mets have really no better option at this point in time. 31 year old Carlos Torres is having a standout year, but ultimately is nothing special. 24 year old Jeurys Familia could be another story,but in reality, the Braves should have nothing to fear if this series has any late inning battles.
7:10 PM EST, Monday, June 30th
Probables: Zack Wheeler (3-8, 4.45 ERA) vs Alex Wood (6-6, 3.07)
7:10 PM EST, Tuesday, July 1st
7:10 PM EST, Wednesday, July 2nd
Probables: Jacob deGrom (1-4, 3.62 ERA) vs Julio Teheran (7-5, 2.34 ERA)