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Up Next: Mets vs San Diego Padres

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It was sweep city in D.C. but the Mets return home to find the league's most suffocating pitching staff waiting for them.

Record

NL WEST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA Streak Last 10
Arizona 71 55 .563 - 37-24 34-31 539 568 Lost 2 6-4
San Diego 66 57 .537 3.5 35-29 31-28 534 475 Won 1 5-5
LA Dodgers 64 60 .516 6 34-32 30-28 547 538 Won 1 5-5
Colorado 63 61 .508 7 35-24 28-37 629 592 Lost 2 4-6
W L RS RA W1 L1 W2 L2 W3 L3
66. 57. 534 475 68.0 55.0 63.7 59.3 63.2 59.8

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 Padres have outperformed their run differential by a few wins, not atypical for a team with such a talented bullpen.

Starting Rotation

Player W L ERA IP H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 VORP
*Jake Peavy 13 5 2.19 164.2 7.00 9.56 2.51 0.33 60.4
*Chris Young 9 4 1.93 130.2 5.79 8.61 3.17 0.28 49.5
Greg Maddux 9 9 3.90 154.2 9.66 4.83 1.22 0.64 30.0
*Justin Germano 6 7 4.18 103.1 8.10 5.14 2.53 0.96 16.2
Clay Hensley 2 3 6.70 44.1 10.96 4.87 5.48 0.81 (-7.3)

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

Those two guys at the top will make for a very difficult series for the Mets. Jake Peavy is the Cy Young frontrunner at this point, though Chris Young would be right there with him if he hadn't missed some time due to injury. The Padres took two of three from the Mets when these two teams met in San Diego back in July, and they certainy have their starting rotation lined up to do the same this week at Shea.

WPA Top Two
Jake Peavy, 4.06 WPA
Chris Young, 3.74 WPA

WPA Bottom Two
David Wells, -1.27 WPA
Clay Hensley, -0.91 WPA

Starting Lineup

Player Pos PA AVG OBP SLG SB CS VORP NL Rank
Josh Bard C 310 .258 .345 .369 0 1 9.4 6/31
Adrian Gonzalez 1B 537 .270 .341 .479 0 0 24.0 8/27
Geoff Blum 2B 230 .265 .336 .358 0 0 3.0 16/28
Khalil Greene SS 483 .237 .273 .444 3 0 8.5 15/29
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B 370 .236 .293 .412 1 0 0.9 18/29
Terrmel Sledge LF 196 .208 .308 .363 1 1 (-3.5) 20/32
Mike Cameron CF 513 .249 .324 .432 14 5 15.3 5/31
Brian Giles RF 371 .306 .391 .441 4 3 19.2 5/31

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

This lineup is missing Milton Bradley who is nursing a hamstring injury and is likely to miss the whole series. He has hit .355/.456/.618 since joining the Padres, and his understudy Terrmel Sledge has been worse than replacement level in 196 plate appearances this season. The left side of San Diego's infield has combined to post an on-base percentage to the south of .300, and Marcus Giles played so badly early on that he has basically been replaced by Geoff Blum at second base. Adrian Gonzalez is having a solid year at first, and Brian Giles has seen a surge in the power department since the All-Star break and currently looks like the Giles of old.

WPA Top Two
Adrian Gonzalez, 2.43 WPA
Milton Bradley, 1.21 WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Khalil Greene, -1.41 WPA
Michael Barrett, -1.34 WPA

Bullpen

Player ERA IP H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 VORP
Trevor Hoffman 2.09 43.0 5.65 6.28 2.30 0.42 15.0
Heath Bell 2.43 70.1 6.53 9.21 2.69 0.38 25.5
Cla Meredith 3.34 59.1 11.38 6.52 1.97 0.61 8.1
Kevin Cameron 1.33 47.1 7.23 7.99 5.13 0.00 22.1
Justin Hampson 3.62 37.1 9.40 4.82 3.38 0.00 7.5
Doug Brocail 3.90 55.1 7.97 4.72 2.93 0.81 5.7
Wilfredo Ledezma 5.06 5.1 11.81 11.81 6.75 1.69 (-0.6)

Yikes. Heath Bell has been awesome, but he has already logged more than 70 innings with almost forty games yet to play. Kevin Cameron's ERA is razor-thin but his peripherals paint a different picture. Allowing more than five walks every nine innings is bound to come back to bite him.

WPA Top Two
Heath Bell, 2.46 WPA
Trevor Hoffman, 2.44 WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Cla Meredith, -0.74 WPA
Mike Thompson, -0.62 WPA

Bench

Player Pos PA AVG OBP SLG SB CS VORP
Pete Laforest Bench1 26 .381 .500 .571 0 0 4.5
Marcus Giles Bench2 440 .223 .293 .307 10 3 (-10.9)
Morgan Ensberg Bench3 43 .225 .279 .525 0 0 1.4
Milton Bradley Bench4 90 .355 .456 .618 3 1 13.5
Rob Mackowiak Bench5 48 .191 .208 .234 1 0 (-4.8)

Bradley probably isn't available although I like the Morgan Ensberg pickupas a no-risk maneuver. Marcus Giles will probably start against Tom Glavine in this series but could ride the pine the other two games.

Manager

Strategy # Times NL Rank
Pinch Hit 191 10/16
Stolen Base Attempts 69 13/16
Sacrifice Bunts 50 7/16

The Padres are helmed by Bud Black in his first stint as a big league manager. He had been a pitching coach with the Angels under Mike Scoscia for a number of years.

Key Injuries

Michael Barrett
Scott Hairston

Payroll

Team Payroll MLB Rank
$58,235,567 24/30