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Mets vs. Cardinals Saber-stat Series Preview

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Tonight, the Mets (47-48, 12 GB) begin the first of three games against the St. Louis Cardinals (50-45, .5GB).

St. Louis is currently tied for second place in the NL Central with the Milwaukee Brewers, half a game behind those preseason favorite Pirates (I kid, I kid). The Cardinals have mostly done it with offense so far this season, as their run differential is largely dependent on an offense that is scoring 14% more runs per game than league average. In fact, their expected record based on their run differential is identical to their actual record.

The Mets' expected record, on the other hand, is 49-46. They've been quite similar to St. Louis in that their run differential is also heavily dependent on their offense. The biggest difference is home runs. The Mets remain largely under league average while the Cards are well above (not Yankee above, but still).

The Mets will miss the Cardinals' top two starters (Garcia and Carpenter) and get to roll with arguably their three best this year (Gee, Dickey, and Niese). Moreover, it appears that the offense will get both Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran back tonight.

I'll be optimistic and predict the Mets win this series.

For more on the Cardinals, check out Viva El Birdos.

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Graphic Guide: League average is scaled to 100. Scores higher than 100 indicate performance better than league average, less than 100 indicates performance worse than league average regardless of the statistic. For example, if a team has a FIP of 110% on the graph their actual FIP is 10% better than league average.

Offense

RS/G: Runs Scored per Game

wOBA: Weighted On-base Average

OBP: On-base Percentage

SLG: Slugging

BABIP: Batting Average on Balls in Play

LD%: Line-drive Percentage

HR/FB: Home run to Fly Ball Ratio

Defense

RA/G: Runs Against per Game

FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching

tERA: True Runs Allowed

SIERA: Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average (FanGraphs' version)

BABIP: Batting Average on Balls in Play

K/BB: Strikeouts to Walk Ratio

HR/FB: Home run to Fly Ball Ratio