The New York Mets (65-77) will finally begin their four-game set with the Miami Marlins (56-86) after rain postponed yesterday night’s contest. The series will now include a single-admission double header on Wednesday. Jacob deGrom will finally get his chance to take the mound tonight to continue his quest to become the first Mets starter to win a Cy Young Award since R.A. Dickey in 2012.
Believe it or not, these two teams have not played at Citi Field since May 21-23. In that series, the Mets dropped two out of three and scored just four runs against Marlins pitching in the defeat. Since then, they have played two series in Miami, with the clubs splitting the six games. The Mets have won seven of 12 overall against the Marlins in 2018.
The Mets are coming into the series after winning their last two against the Philadelphia Phillies, which helped them clinch their third consecutive series victory. After the offense was mostly quiet against Aaron Nola on Friday night, they woke up on Saturday and Sunday and combined for 16 runs and 20 hits.
Michael Conforto went four-for-ten over the weekend, including adding two more home runs to up his 2018 total to 23. He is now four home runs off his career-high of 27 and five RBI off his career-high of 68, both of which he set last season. In his last 10 games, he’s 10-for-40 with a 125 wRC+ and an .836 OPS.
Jeff McNeil also continues to rake and make the case that he should be the 2019 starting second baseman. He had back-to-back three-hit games on Saturday and Sunday, which give him 13 multi-hit games and five three-hit games in his young career. He is slashing .340/.401/.490 with a 147 wRC+ and a 1.9 fWAR in 44 games.
The Marlins will play their first game since Saturday afternoon. Weather has canceled their last two games against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mets on Sunday and on Monday. The last-place club was swept by the Pirates before rain postponed the finale, and they have lost four out of six overall. The Marlins rank last in the National League with a .667 team OPS and 525 runs scored, and second-to-last with an 84 wRC+.
Despite the struggles, catcher J.T. Realmuto has had a career year and has set a career high with 20 home runs. He leads all catchers with a 134 wRC+, a 4.7 fWAR, and a .856 OPS. The rebuilding Marlins will likely revisit trading their star offensive piece this winter after they were unsuccessful in unloading him during the offseason and before the trade deadline.
Starlin Castro, whom the club acquired as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade with the New York Yankees, has also had a solid year in Miami. In 138 games, he’s slashing .288/.338/.412 with a 106 wRC+ and a 2.5 fWAR. In his last 20 games, he’s hitting .325 (25-for-77) with a 142 wRC+.
Tuesday, September 11: Jose Urena vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Urena (2018): 151.0 IP, 117 K, 42 BB, 17 HR, 4.41 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 1.21 WHIP
Urena earned his fifth victory of the season against the Phillies on September 3 when he held them to one earned run in seven innings while tying a season high with seven strikeouts. In his last three starts, he’s allowed six earned runs in 22 innings. He has lost two games to the Mets in 2018, both of which were hosted by Miami. He allowed seven earned runs in those two outings.
deGrom (2018): 188.0 IP, 230 K, 42 BB, 9 HR, 1.68 ERA, 2.08 FIP, 0.96 WHIP
deGrom was originally scheduled to pitch on Sunday against Philadelphia and then again on Monday against Miami, but Mother Nature had other plans for the ace. In his start against the Dodgers, which came eight days ago, he allowed just a first-inning home run to Justin Turner and was able to navigate through six innings while holding Los Angeles to one run on two hits. He became the first pitcher since 1913 to allow three runs or less in 25 consecutive games and broke a club record with his 20th straight quality start. He also knocked in a run on a single but did not come away with a win because it was the only run the offense would score until Nimmo’s game-winning home run in the ninth. Despite that, deGrom has cemented himself as the Cy Young frontrunner in the National League.
Wednesday, September 12: Jeff Brigham vs. Zack Wheeler, 4:10 p.m. on SNY
Brigham (2018): 3.0 IP, 2 K, 4 BB, 0 HR, 9.00 ERA, 6.83 FIP, 2.67 WHIP
Brigham made his major league debut on September 2 against the Toronto Blue Jays and lasted three innings. He was tagged for three earned runs on four hits while walking four and striking out two. The 26-year-old made 16 starts this year between Double-A and Triple-A and ended up with a 2.49 ERA in 90.1 innings pitched. He entered 2018 as the No. 20 prospect in the Marlins system according to MLB Pipeline.
Wheeler (2018): 167.1 IP, 168 K, 52 BB, 14 HR, 3.39 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 1.17 WHIP
In his last start, Wheeler allowed three earned runs for the first time in the second half of the season. Despite this, he pitched well and earned his tenth victory of 2018. In nine second-half starts, Wheeler has a 1.51 ERA, a 2.47 FIP, and a 0.85 WHIP in 59.2 innings pitched to continue his resurgent season. Since the start of June, he has lowered his ERA from 5.14 to 3.39. He has fared well against the Marlins in 2018, posting a 1.80 ERA in three starts.
Wednesday, September 12: Trevor Richards vs. Jason Vargas, TBD on SNY
Richards (2018): 102.2 IP, 105 K, 49 BB, 12 HR, 4.73 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 1.45 WHIP
Richards lasted just 1.1 innings in his last start and allowed six earned runs to the Phillies. It was the shortest outing of the rookie’s young major league career and raised his earned run average by almost a full half-run in the process. After a stellar month of July, he has come crashing back to earth since the beginning of August. In his last six starts since August 1, he has a 6.59 ERA, a 5.76 FIP, and a 1.57 WHIP in 27.1 innings.
Vargas (2018): 73.1 IP, 63 K, 26 BB, 16 HR, 6.75 ERA, 5.51 FIP, 1.60 WHIP
Vargas saw his string of four good starts come to an end against the Dodgers in his last appearance. He was roughed up for five runs (four earned) in 3.1 innings, which included allowing two home runs. Vargas had one of his first good starts of the year against this same Marlins team, as he shut them out through five innings back in May. Due to his contract situation, Vargas is almost certainly guaranteed a rotation spot in 2019 despite his rough year.
Thursday, September 13: Sandy Alcantara vs. Steven Matz, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Alcantara (2018): 12.0 IP, 8 K, 7 BB, 0 HR, 0.75 ERA, 4.08 FIP, 1.08 WHIP
Prior to coming to the Marlins, Alcantara made eight appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017 but did not make a start. In his first two career starts this year with Miami, he has allowed just one earned run, which came against the Mets in a victory on June 29. In his last outing, he pitched seven shutout innings against the Phillies and struck out six while scattering three hits.
Matz (2018): 133.2 IP, 132 K, 47 BB, 22 HR, 4.17 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 1.26 WHIP
Outside of a Carlos Santana two-run home run, Matz pitched well against the Phillies but his high pitch count led to an early exit from the game. In all, he threw five innings and scattered three hits while striking out eight. Matz has a 2.25 ERA, a 2.83 FIP, and a 0.75 WHIP in his last four starts. If he can stay healthy, he will end the year with 30 starts for the first time in his career, which will represent a big milestone for the lefty.
Prediction: The Mets will take three out of four from the Marlins.
How will the Mets fare in their four game series against the Marlins?
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How sweep it will be when the Mets win all four games!
Mets win three to take their fourth straight series
They split the series and move on to Boston
Mets are speared by the Marlins but take one game
The Mets are fish food in a four-game sweep