The New York Mets (30-38) have won two games in a row, which last happened when they won four straight from May 18 to May 21. They will look to make it a true winning streak over a four game set with the Colorado Rockies (34-37), who swept them in a three-game series at Citi Field as part of a six-game losing streak to start the month of May.
The Mets are coming off of one of their best wins of the season, a 5-3 comeback win over the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, which gave them a series split. The Mets lost the first two games a combined 13-6, but their bats came alive a little more in game two when they amassed seven hits. But in game three, manager Mickey Callaway’s lineup shenanigans (Amed Rosario batting leadoff, current best player and owner of all Mets fans’ hearts Brandon Nimmo batting fifth, and Michael Conforto all the way at seventh) paid off with a 5-1 victory. Everyone besides Jose Bautista recorded at least one hit (and he walked twice), including a 2-4 day with a home run and four RBIs for Conforto, whose struggles had rumors swirling he was going to be demoted.
And then yesterday, Brandon Nimmo saved Father’s Day for Mets fans (and ruined it for the Dbacks fans at Chase Field, though they got nice shirts as payment) with his two-run home run in the ninth to give the Mets a 4-3 lead. Another shot from the returned Asdrubal Cabrera brought the game to its 5-3 conclusion.
The Rockies have been struggling this season and are coming off back-to-back losses to the Texas Rangers, including a 13-12 defeat yesterday. The Rockies were actually leading that game 12-9 in the ninth, but closer Wade Davis walked four batters in the ninth en route to blowing the lead. He recorded only one out.
The Rockies have actually been worse than the Mets offensively this season, racking up an 82 wRC+, which is ahead of only the Baltimore Orioles, but we all saw how that series went. But, they have bounced back a little in June, posting a 94 wRC+ to the Mets’ unfathomably bad 50.
If there’s any place for the bats to wake up, it’s Coors Field.
Monday, June 18: Jacob deGrom vs. Tyler Anderson, 8:40 p.m. on SNY
deGrom (2018): 87.1 IP, 113 K, 23 BB, 4 HR, 1.55 ERA, 1.99 FIP, 1.008 WHIP
Pitcher wins are dumb, but team wins are kind of important, and the Mets don’t get them when deGrom pitches no matter how hard he tries. In five games this season, deGrom has gone seven innings and given up no more than one run but the Mets still lost. His last start was one of those games, where he gave up one run over seven innings to the Atlanta Braves in a 2-0 loss on June 13. He has the fewest home runs per nine innings for qualified pitchers in the majors right now.
Anderson (2018): 74.1 IP, 64 K, 22 BB, 12 HR, 4.48 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 1.31 WHIP
Anderson was the Rockies’ first round pick in 2011 and is now in his third season in the majors. Anderson missed a lot of time last season to a knee injury, so he’s on pace to finally get a full season of starts in. He has only been a whole run worse at home (5.04 to 4.18), but has given up six homers each at home and on the road. He looked good in his last start against the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing just one run over seven innings.
Tuesday, June 19: Jason Vargas vs. German Marquez, 8:40 p.m. on SNY
Vargas (2018): 35.1 IP, 32 K, 14 BB, 8 HR, 7.39 ERA, 5.58 FIP, 1.70 WHIP
After a terrible, horrible, no good start to 2018, Vargas has oddly bounced back ever since his first-ever career appearance on short rest against the Braves on May 30, when he threw five shutout innings. He’s had a 3.00 ERA over those three starts. However, as a victim to the long ball (his 17.8% home run to fly ball percentage is 23rd in baseball among starters with at least 30 IP) that bounce back could come to a screeching halt.
Marquez (2018): 73.2 IP, 74 K, 30 BB, 13 HR, 5.13 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 1.48 WHIP
June has not been kind to German Marquez. In three starts this month, he’s 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA, including a six-run appearance in his last start on the road against the Phillies. While most Rockie pitchers are worse at home, Marquez’s splits are drastic: even with that blow up, his road ERA is 3.07. At home? 7.71.
Wednesday, June 20: Seth Lugo vs. Chad Bettis, 8:40 p.m. on SNY
Lugo (2018): 50.2 IP, 54 K, 10 BB, 5 HR, 2.49 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 0.947 WHIP
Starter Lugo had his first bad outing of the season last turn, giving up five runs in five innings against the Diamondbacks on June 15. Lugo gave up two home runs in that game, but before that had only given up one since April 18.
Bettis (2018): 81.1 IP, 59 K, 27 BB, 14 HR, 4.65 ERA, 4.98 FIP, 1.29 WHIP
Bettis has really struggled since his win over the Mets back on May 5. Over his next seven starts, he has logged a 7.71 ERA and has failed to reach the seventh inning. He did finally get another win in his most recent start, a 9-5 victory over the Rangers. He went 5.2 innings, giving up five earned runs and striking out six.
Thursday, June 21: Steven Matz vs. Kyle Freeland, 3:10 p.m. on SNY
Matz (2018): 65.1 IP, 57 K, 28 BB, 11 HR, 3.31 ERA, 5.05 FIP, 1.24 WHIP
Naturally, the only Mets pitcher to allow double-digit home runs so far this season gets a turn at Coors Field. Matz’s FIP belies that he’s been getting a little lucky in the earned run game, and if there’s any place where it may crash around his ears, it’s here. That being said, he’s coming off a strong outing, giving up just one run over 6.2 innings, though he only struck out three.
Freeland: 85.1 IP, 73 K, 27 BB, 10 HR, 3.59 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 1.242
Freeland has been as close as to what passes for an ace in Denver so far this season, and actually has a better ERA at home (2.93) than on the road (3.95). His best start of 2018 was against the Mets on May 6 in a 3-2 win, where he gave up just two runs on four hits over seven innings, striking out eight.
Prediction: Mets split the series and one of the wins is deGrom’s game.