Miami Marlins to travel to Citi Field to face New York Mets
The Miami Marlins are making their first trip to Citi Field to take on the New York Mets. Earlier this season the Marlins were swept at home against their division rival. Miami hopes to return the favor in the upcoming three game series.
May 21: Elieser Hernandez (MIA) vs Jason Vargas (NYM)
The opening game of the three game series sees the Miami Marlins sending out Elieser Hernandez to face Jason Vargas of the Mets. Hernandez is yet to face the Mets in his young career but given his 2.25 ERA and 1.250 WHIP, should at least put together a respectable outing.
Vargas has limited exposure to Miami’s hitters, only Starlin Castro and Cameron Maybin have faced him before. The duo have combined to go seven-of-14 with three doubles and two walks against Vargas. With how badly Vargas has struggled this season Miami could jump all over him in Game one of the series.
May 22: Caleb Smith (MIA) vs Zack Wheeler (NYM)
The middle game of the series has two pitchers with more of a history facing their opponents when compared to the series opener.
Caleb Smith has held the Mets to a .227/.261/.455 slash line with a .715 OPS. This amounts to only five hits in 22 at-bats with eight strikeouts and one walk. The only Mets hitters to truly take advantage of Smith previously are Wilmer Flores, Michael Conforto and Asdrubal Cabrera. Flores has an RBI double against Smith. Conforto is two-for-three with an RBI and Cabrera has the only home run that Smith has surrendered to a New York Mets hitter.
On the flip side, Zack Wheeler has been rather dominant against the Miami Marlins in the past. Limiting Marlins hitters to a .191 batting average and striking out 16. Only Martin Prado has put together a noteworthy stat line in a sample size that is more than a few at-bats. Prado is three-for-eight with an RBI and one strikeout in his career against Wheeler. The second game of the series appears that it could come down to which pitcher makes a mistake at the least opportune time. A scenario that has played itself out for both teams this season.
May 23: Dan Straily (MIA) vs Jacob deGrom (NYM)
The final game of the series has two pitchers who have a lot of experience facing each team. Dan Straily has held Mets hitters to a .167 batting average in his career. However Straily has also issued nine walks which is why they have a .298 on-base percentage. The only Mets hitter to show consistency at the plate against Straily is Cabrera. Cabrera is three-for-eight with two doubles and two RBI. Jay Bruce has the only home run given up to a Mets hitter by Straily. If Straily can keep the walks down he should take care of business.
Now onto Jacob deGrom. deGrom has not had much success against Miami. Miami Marlins hitters have a combined slash line of .262/.320/.336 with a .656 OPS. There are two players leading the charge against deGrom, Justin Bour and Castro.
Bour is seven-for-15 with two home runs, one double and six RBI against deGrom. Simply put, Bour owns deGrom and should provide more headaches for the Mets pitcher. Castro is five-for-12 with one RBI and one walk. While Castro’s numbers are not as flashy as Bour’s, consistently being on base can prove to be troublesome against one of baseball’s best pitchers. Both Castro and Bour have batting averages above .400 against deGrom. Any other Marlins hitter with three or more at-bats is at .250 or below. This just goes to show how good this duo has been in the past against deGrom.
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Miami is currently scoring 3.6 runs and allowing 5.8 runs per game over the last 10 games. Being outscored by over two runs is not optimal and has led to their 4-6 record during that span. The Marlins did take two of three from the reigning National League Champion Dodgers. Unfortunately, that was sandwiched in the middle of dropping five-of-seven games to the Braves. Watch for the bullpen to rebound from the shelling they took on Sunday.
New York is currently scoring and allowing four runs per game over their last 10. The Mets have compiled a 6-4 record including a sweep of Arizona, splits with Toronto and Philadelphia and a loss to Cincinnati.
This series may not be pretty but it should provide plenty of entertainment to the fans of both teams.
Next: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly vs the Braves
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