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Up Next: Mets vs Milwaukee Brewers

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After stumbling through a 4-3 homestand against the Pirates and the Nationals, the Mets hit the road for parts unknown, aka the great midwest, to take on the central division leading Milwaukee Brewers.

Record

NL CENTRAL W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA Streak Last 10
Milwaukee 57 49 .538 - 36-17 21-32 511 475 Lost 3 3-7
Chicago Cubs 55 49 .529 1 27-25 28-24 483 425 Lost 1 5-5
St. Louis 49 53 .480 6 25-25 24-28 452 529 Won 3 6-4
Houston 46 59 .438 10.5 28-25 18-34 466 528 Lost 1 6-4
Cincinnati 45 61 .425 12 24-29 21-32 489 547 Lost 2 4-6
Pittsburgh 42 61 .408 13.5 23-29 19-32 416 514 Lost 3 2-8
W L RS RA W1 L1 W2 L2 W3 L3
57. 49. 511 475 56.6 49.4 57.9 48.1 55.9 50.1

W1 and L1 are the expected wins and losses based on runs scored and runs allowed.
W2 and L2 are the expected wins and losses based on BP's equivalence runs scored and allowed.
W3 and L3 are similar to W2 and L2 but adjusted for strength of schedule.

The Brewers' record is right about where their run differential says it should be. Actually, they have outperformed it by one win, but that's hardly significant.

Starting Rotation

Player W L ERA IP H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 VORP
Chris Capuano 5 7 4.70 103.1 9.32 7.66 3.66 0.87 6.3
*Claudio Vargas 9 2 4.30 102.2 9.56 7.63 3.51 1.49 12.5
*Dave Bush 8 8 4.91 124.2 9.89 6.79 2.09 1.08 9.8
*Jeff Suppan 8 9 5.08 133.0 10.76 4.74 3.25 0.81 5.7
Yovani Gallardo 3 1 2.72 46.1 6.60 7.77 3.11 0.19 14.7

* asterisks denote probable starters vs Mets
() parentheses denote negative numbers
italics denote left-handed pitchers

Not pictured: Ben Sheets, who is on the disabled list again. The Mets are somewhat fortunate in that they are drawing arguably the Brewers' three worst starting pitchers this series. Chris Capuano isn't having a great year but he has historically been very good. Instead of facing him or rookie hotshot Yovani Gallardo, the Mets get their old arch-enemy Jeff Suppan, Claudio Vargas and his 1.49 WHIP, and everyman Dave Bush.

WPA Top Two
Ben Sheets, 1.81 WPA
Yovani Gallardo, 1.18 WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Jeff Suppan, -0.80 WPA
David Bush, -0.62 WPA

Starting Lineup

Player Pos PA AVG OBP SLG SB CS VORP NL Rank
Johnny Estrada# C 330 .283 .301 .421 0 0 9.7 6/31
Prince Fielder* 1B 451 .283 .373 .591 0 2 37.8 2/27
Rickie Weeks 2B 308 .212 .330 .363 10 2 1.1 16/28
J.J. Hardy SS 415 .272 .328 .461 0 3 17.0 5/28
Ryan Braun 3B 258 .350 .395 .662 9 2 37.8 4/28
Geoff Jenkins* LF 303 .262 .333 .469 1 2 8.7 14/31
Bill Hall CF 348 .272 .337 .442 3 4 10.7 6/30
Corey Hart RF 352 .280 .350 .510 16 4 21.8 3/27

* asterisks denote left-handed batters
# pound signs denote switch-hitters
rankings are based on VORP for players with at least 100 PA

The Brewers are in good shape for the future, with everyone but Geoff Jenkins and Johnny Estrada on the good side of 30, many significantly so. Fielder and Braun look like studs, with Weeks and Hardy yet to completely fill in (Hardy had a great start but has fizzled since late May). Six of the eight regulars here are in the top six among National Leaguers at their respective positions, with Jenkins and Weeks not faring quite so well.

WPA Top Two
Prince Fielder, 3.37 WPA
Ryan Braun, 1.41 WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Tony Graffanino, -1.30 WPA
Rickie Weeks, -1.06 WPA

Bullpen

Player ERA IP H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 VORP
Francisco Cordero 3.38 42.2 7.59 12.02 2.95 0.21 11.0
Derrick Turnbow 4.30 46.0 6.85 11.35 4.30 0.78 7.1
Scott Linebrink 0.00 2.0 9.00 9.00 9.00 0.00 1.3
Matt Wise 3.22 44.2 7.86 6.45 2.01 0.81 9.3
Carlos Villanueva 3.82 70.2 7.26 8.53 4.20 1.15 13.6
Chris Spurling 4.09 33.0 10.91 5.45 2.73 0.82 3.8
Brian Shouse 2.10 30.0 6.00 4.80 3.00 0.00 11.0
Manny Parra 2.16 8.1 8.64 7.56 2.16 0.00 1.3

Very tough bullpen here; not really a true stinker among them, and plenty of late inning weapons. Francisco Cordero has turned things around and has been mostly dominant this year; note the 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Derrick Turnbow is striking out a lot of batters, but he seems to be walking the rest of them. Recently-acquired Scott Linebrink should help, though he's not the pitcher he was the last couple of seasons.

WPA Top Two
Matt Wise, 1.28 WPA
Carlos Villanueva, 1.22 WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Greg Aquino, -0.86 WPA
Grant Balfour, -0.76 WPA

Bench

Player Pos PA AVG OBP SLG SB CS VORP
Damian Miller Bench1 129 .267 .326 .388 1 0 3.5
Craig Counsell* Bench2 254 .238 .349 .338 4 2 0.6
Kevin Mench Bench3 226 .281 .301 .447 2 1 3.7
Tony Graffanino Bench4 236 .238 .314 .400 0 1 0.1

It's a typical bench. Expect Kevin Mench to play in the first two games against Glavine and Perez.

Manager

Strategy # Times NL Rank
Pinch Hit 141 15/16
Stolen Base Attempts 80 8/16
Sacrifice Bunts 36 11/16

Ned Yost doesn't care much for pinch hitting or sacrificing. Their pitchers are right around the middle of the pack offensively, batting .148/.169/.189 (the Mets are first in the NL at .178/.227/.216).

Key Injuries

Ben Sheets
Elmer Dessens

Payroll

Team Payroll MLB Rank
$71,986,500 18/30