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Mets vs. Astros: Saber-stat Series Preview

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After taking two out of three from the Colorado Rockies, the Mets (13-9, 1GB) travel to Houston and begin a three-game series against the Astros (8-14, 6GB).

One day shy of May, and the Mets have managed to play .591 ball. However, their expected record is actually 9-13, based on their runs scored and allowed. Why are they outperforming their expected record by four wins early on? Simple--they are 6-1 in one runs games. Offensively, the Mets have only scored 88 runs (not bad at all given their park, as you can see from the park adjusted numbers above), but their hitters have a WPA of 1.45 for the year, third highest in all of baseball. Even when controlling for leverage, Met hitters have the fifth-best WPA in the bigs.

Run prevention has been a different story.

After adjusting for park, the Mets rank last in the NL in run prevention (third worst without adjusting). The pitching staff's peripherals wouldn't predict such a poor showing, but their defense has been as poor as advertised. The Mets have the worst average against in terms of BABIP in the NL (third-worst without adjusting for park).

Mets pitchers are, however, giving up home runs at a higher rate than last season. Through April 29 this year, the Mets have a HR/FB ratio against of 11.8%. This time last year? 9.6%.

For a team that is obviously in the beginning of a major organizational rebuild, the Astros haven't played that bad to start the season. Offensively, their run scoring is higher than league average, but their run prevention, like the Mets, has been a weak point. Their bullpen, in particular, has not been a big help, with 14 meltdowns against only 9 shutdowns.

With Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey starting games one and two, I have a feeling the Mets can take two out of three.

For more great Astros coverage, be sure to check out The Crawfish Boxes.


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 whether the statistic is related to run scoring or run prevention.

Statistics have not been park adjusted (although they may be in the future), but are adjusted for each team's respective league.

Run Scoring

RS/G: Runs Scored per Game

wOBA: Weighted On-base Average

OBP: On-base Percentage

ISO: Isolated Power

BB/K: Ratio of Walks to Strikeouts

BABIP: Batting Average on Balls in Play

HR/FB: Home run to Fly Ball Ratio

Runs Allowed

RA/G: Runs Against per Game

FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching

SIERA: Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average

GB/FB: Ratio of Ground balls to Fly balls

K/BB: Strikeouts to Walk Ratio

BABIP: Batting Average on Balls in Play

HR/FB: Home run to Fly Ball Ratio

SD%: Shutdown Percentage ([SD/(SD+MD)])