Since a 15-1 stretch in late July-Early August vaulted the New York Mets into the Wild Card race, they have since gone 11-14, and lost two in a row. At 72-70 they have fallen 4 games back of the Cubs and 2.5 Games back of the Dbacks. They have struggled on the road this year with a 39-53 record.
Their offense ranks 2nd in the National League in OPS+, (103) trailing only the Dodgers. Lead by rookie Pete Alonso and his 45 HR and 152 OPS+, they have solid hitters in J.D Davis, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil as well.
The Mets have a strong rotation, lead by Jacob deGrom. But the team has posted just a 94 ERA+, which ranks 13th in the NL. Closer Edwin Diaz has been a tire fire all year. They’ve had only two truly reliable relievers, Seth Lugo and lefty Justin Wilson. And their defense ranks dead last in the NL with -81 Defensive Runs Saved. Undoubtably that his hurting their run prevention and making their pitchers ERA look worse. That’s why the Mets actually rank high in Baseball Reference Pitcher WAR, as they get credit for pitching in front of a bad defense.
The DBacks are coming off a series victory against the Reds, but were walked off on Sunday, losing 4-3. Nonetheless the DBacks are in the midst of their run, going 11-2 in their last 13 to climb within 1.5 Games of the Cubs for the 2nd wild card slot.
Ketel Marte has been hot for a very long time, and is basically carrying the offense at the moment. He’ll need to continue his MVP push if the DBacks are going to have a shot at overtaking the Cubs.
Merrill Kelly had a 3.77 ERA and .717 OPS against on July 18th. The 30 year old rookie was looking to be a steal of a signing. He and his team then endured a 7 start stretch where he posted an 8.91 ERA and a 1.032 OPS against. However in his most recent start he had one of his best games of the year, blanking the Padres for 7 innings while giving up just 3 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 9. The Mets are a better team than the Padres however, so Kelly will need to post two good games in a row.
One could be forgiven for thinking Jacob deGrom was having a “down season” . He got off to a slow start this year. His ERA is almost a run higher than last year, and his record is just 8-8. Incredibly the Mets are 2-10 in his no decisions, for a 10-18 record in his appearances. However deGrom actually ranks 2nd in WAR (both versions), behind only Max Scherzer. He also ranks 2nd in strikeouts and 5th in ERA. But he’s gotten really lousy run and bullpen support. He’s also had two mediocre starts in his previous two games. DBacks fans will hope that continues to be the case for at least one more start.
Zac Gallen flirted with a no hitter in his last start, also against the Padres. He ended up going 7 innings, giving up just 1 hit, 1 walk, and struck out 8. He faced the Mets while still a Marlin back on July 13th , going 5 and giving up just 2 runs, but walking 5 in a 2-0 loss.
Zack Wheeler faced the DBacks at Chase Field May 31st, and went 7 innings giving up 4 runs in a 5-3 Mets Victory. His most recent two starts have been strong, giving up just 2 runs in 13 innings.
Robbie Ray exited his last start with a blister that they said wasn’t a blister but then became a blister. Story Link. So we’ll see. I’m not feeling to great about this one. Blisters are a real pain, and can be tough to treat and keep from recurring.
Steven Matz was roughed up by the Dbacks on June 2nd, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 homers in 6 innings. But over his last 6 starts, 36 IP he has a 2.27 ERA with a .649 OPS against. He’s given up one run three times and two runs three times in that stretch.
Alex Young is not yet listed for this game, as it’s showing TBD on the website, but it’s his turn. He was absolutely masterful against the Reds, tossing 8 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits while striking out a career high 12.
Marcus Stroman has not been very good since joining the Mets on July 28th. In 7 starts he has a 5.05 ERA and it could have been worse, giving up a whopping 48 hits and 7 homers in 36 innings of work. Last time out he gave up 10 hits and 5 runs to the Phillies in just 4 innings. The DBacks banged him around pretty good too back in June in Toronto when he allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 homers in 5.2 IP.