Series Preview: Mets (28-29) at Cubs (20-34)

In Uncategorized by berselius

I hadn’t taken a look at the Mets record this year, and am surprised to see that they’re pretty close to .500. It’s especially surprising considering how strong their division-mates are/have been this year (Phillies excepted). They’re coming off a 3-1 series win against the Phillies in which there were three extra inning games in a row, so their bullpen should be pretty gassed.

Team Overviews


  • wRC+: 88 (10th)
  • BSR: -2.2 (13th)
  • SP FIP-: 111 (13th)
  • RP FIP-: 111 (14th)
  • UZR: 2.9 (8th)
  • DRS: 22 (5th)
  • Run differential: +5 (9th)


  • wRC+: 79 (15th)
  • BSR: 2.3 (5th)
  • SP FIP-: 83 (1st)
  • RP FIP-: 92 (7th)
  • UZR: 5.5 (5th)
  • DRS: -1 (13th)
  • Run differential: -18 (11th)

If the Cubs are the unlucky bad team, I guess the Mets are the lucky bad team. How do they have a positive run differential with those rankings? They rank 6th in runs scored despite their below average wRC+, and their runs allowed, while better than their abysmal FIP would suggest, isn’t that huge of a difference either. It’s also not like they have abnormal BABIP, HR/FB, or strand rate. Chalk it up to the game-by-game version of sequencing, I guess. Their offensive WAR leaders are Daniel Murphy, who’s had a much better career than I give him credit for, and defensive whiz Juan Lagares (currently on the DL), two guys who owe their value to more to positional scarcity than hitting the cover off the ball. Jon Niese is having a great year on the mound, and Zack Wheeler is making adjustments in his sophomore year, but no one’s numbers jump off the page there either.

News, injuries, notes, etc.

Bob Abreu has returned to the bigs at age 40, and has posted a .391 wOBA in his 31 games so far. He was always an underrated player back in his prime, and was a fixture on various fantasy baseball teams of mine. He’s a borderline HOF candidate who probably doesn’t deserve to get in, but will also probably won’t get the credit he deserves. He posted 5+ WAR every year from 1998-2004.

As mentioned above, Lagares is on the shelf but by far the most notable Mets injury is SP Matt Harvey, who got TJ surgery for the 2014 season before it was cool. He’s ruffled feathers with the team/media for having the shocking preference of New York vs Florida for his rehab.

Javy Baez is day to day with a sore wrist after a HBP two days ago. He pinch hit in today’s game.

Jose Veras was DFA’d today to make room for Rondon’s return from the paternity list and a 40-man spot for Eli Whiteside, who is taking the place of Welington Castillo. Beef heads to the DL with a ribcage injury. He’s been slumping at the plate of late, hopefully some rest will help. We’ll see seeing a lot of Baker in the meanwhile unfortunately.

Pitching matchups

ERA, xFIP, projected FIP listed for each pitcher

Tuesday: Zack Wheeler, RHP (4.31, 3.49, 3.71) vs Jake Arrieta, RHP (3.20, 3.12, 4.43), 7:05 PM CT

Arrieta’s pitched quite well this year, but has also been relatively inefficient. His sinker has been positively worm-genocidal this year, posting a 53% GB rate, and he’s walking fewer batters this year. This is only his second start at Wrigley this year, oddly enough.

Wheeler’s been solid this year, save for a two-start hiccup at the beginning of may where he walked nearly half his total BB for the whole season. He mostly relies on his 95-96 mph fastball, which is easily his best pitch. He has, however, been throwing a lot more sinkers this year and has the increase in GB% to show for it.

Wednesday: Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP (2.45, 4.48, 4.88) vs Edwin Jackson, RHP (4.81, 3.56, 3.62), 7:05 PM CT

Dice-K has appeared 17 times for the Mets, including one start, and has done a pretty good Marmol impression. Lots of strikeouts, a frightening amount of walks, and lots of weak contact (.186 BABIP). He still throws the kitchen sink, but his most common pitches are his cutter and four seam.

EJax was wrecked two starts ago, but pitched well if inefficiently in his last start. It was overshadowed by the Cubs nearly getting no-hit and some lousy defense leading to his estate runners scoring (that’s what inherited runners are called from the starter’s perspective, I guess?). He struck out nine and walked two, and was throwing hard.

Thursday: Jacob DeGrom, RHP (2.42, 3.63, 4.22) vs Travis Wood, LHP (5.15, 4.06, 4.13), 6:05 PM CT

DeGrom has been the Mets version of Shark this year, posting a great ERA and no run support. He had a decent to good minor league career, and is projected to replacement level this year. In his four starts so far he’s mostly featured his ~94 mph fastball, but has also uncorked sinkers, a pretty good changeup, sliders, and the occasional curve. He struck out 11 Phillies in his last outing.

Wood was hammered again in his last outing, giving up seven runs in less than three innings. It was kind of a weird start – his HR/FB was 100%, they were mostly just hitting a ton of line drives off him. Ah well, shit happens, and I’ve been more than happy with his past performance and his future with the team.



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