After dropping a game to Josh Johnson and the Marlins, the Mets (19-22, 6.5 GB) start another two-game homestand tonight against the Washington Nationals (20-21, 5.5 GB). Both teams have played equally well over their past 10 games, going 6-4.
The Mets enter the series with the better offense (174 RS vs. 157), but they still don't have Ike Davis and David Wright has just started his DL stint. That being said, Justin Turner has been unreal of late and a nice surprise given the injury-plagued starters.
Even without Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals pitching has been decent so far this season. They've allowed 168 runs, a tad better than league average. The real secret to their success has been an abnormally low HR/FB rate (6.8%, 31% better than league average)--only two teams have a lower rate so far this year. The Mets haven't hit a ton of home runs (about league average), but they've actually hit the 3rd most home runs with runners on base (19).
Here's hoping they can manage a few of those this series.
Bill Petti is a regular columnist at Beyond the Box Score and an occasional contributor to Amazin' Avenue. He can also be found on Twitter at @BillPetti.
Graphic Guide: League average is scaled to 100. Scores higher than 100 indicate performance above league average, less than 100 indicates performance below league average regardless of the statistic. For example, if a team has a FIP of 110% above their actual FIP is 10% lower (better) than league average.