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Mets welcome Brewers to Citi Field for a three-game series

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The Mets will try to slow down Christian Yelich, who is picking up right where he left off last season.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets (13-11) will resume their homestand following Thursday’s day off with three games against the Milwaukee Brewers (13-13). The Mets are tied for first in their division, while the Brewers currently reside in fourth place in the National League Central. New York lost four out of seven to Milwaukee last year, although they took two out of three at Citi Field.

The Mets are coming off a series win against the Phillies to even the season series between the rivals at three wins apiece. New York claimed the opening game thanks to a bounce back performance from Steven Matz, who tossed six sterling innings of one-run ball. On offense, Jeff McNeil contributed two hits—including his first home run of 2019—while Pete Alonso drove in a pair in the 5-1 victory. Tuesday night’s 9-0 win was the Zack Wheeler show, as he tossed seven shutout innings while also contributing a two-run double and hitting his first career home run. Meanwhile, Michael Conforto continued his impressive April with two more hits while Robinson Cano continued his recent resurgence with a two-hit night of his won.

The Mets failed to complete the sweep on Wednesday despite Jason Vargas allowing one run in 4.2 innings. After scoring 14 runs on 19 hits in the first two games, the Mets could only muster six hits and were kept off the board by Vince Velasquez and four Phillies relievers. The game was close until Robert Gsellman imploded in the eighth and allowed three runs on five hits. Meanwhile, Jacob Rhame allowed a two-run home run to Rhys Hoskins in the ninth, a little over 24 hours after he had thrown a fastball above the first baseman’s head that resulted in both dugouts clearing out and subsequently being warned by the umpires. Rhame has since been suspended for two games by Major League Baseball for that pitch.

Cano has hit his stride after getting off to a slow start in 2019. In his last 10 games, Cano is slashing .381/.422/.571 with a 171 wRC+. Meanwhile, Wilson Ramos has hit a rough patch in his first season in orange and blue. In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .188/.250/.281 with a 38 wRC+. In Wednesday’s loss, he struck out with runners on second and third and one out with the team only down by one run. He’s generally not hit for the sort of power the club expected when they signed him while also struggling defensively behind the plate.

The Brewers enter the weekend on a four-game losing streak after getting swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. Milwaukee began the season as one of the favorites to win the National League Central but have gotten off to a rough start and are losers of seven of their last eight overall. Pitching has been a primary cause of Milwaukee’s early-season funk. The Brewers’ rotation currently owns the worst ERA (5.84) and the second-worst FIP (5.60) in the National League. The team is hoping that the recent signing of Gio Gonzalez to a $2 million deal will help solve some of their starting pitching woes.

Christian Yelich is off to a sizzling start in 2019 and already looks like an early favorite to win the National League MVP award for the second straight season. After posting a career-best 166 wRC+ and slashing .326/.402/.598 with 36 home runs last season, he is currently sporting a 205 wRC+ while hitting .326/.438/.793 with a league-leading 13 home runs and a 2.0 fWAR. The Brewers also improved behind the plate by picking up Yasmani Grandal, whom the Mets were also interested in signing before they landed on Ramos. Grandal has been the team’s best hitter aside from Yelich, as he has posted a .316/.391/.579 slash line with a 153 wRC+ in 23 games, which is good for a 1.0 fWAR.

Friday, April 26: Chase Anderson vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Anderson (2019): 15.0 IP, 18 K, 6 BB, 3 HR, 3.00 ERA, 4.52 FIP, 1.13 WHIP

Anderson is making his second straight start after beginning the season in Milwaukee’s bullpen. He allowed at least one earned run in each of his first four relief appearances and entered his spot start on April 20 with a 4.50 ERA in ten innings. Against a very tough Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, Anderson gave the Brewers everything they could’ve hoped for, tossing five scoreless innings while giving up just one hit and two walks. He struck out five and was generally good enough to earn another start this weekend.

deGrom (2019): 22.0 IP, 36 K, 7 BB, 5 HR, 3.68 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 1.27 WHIP

Weather permitting, deGrom will return for the disabled list and make his first start since April 16. All told, deGrom only missed one start after landing on the Injured List, but it was a wild ride that brought everyone to this moment. After revealing that their star pitcher was battling strep throat, the team announced on Friday, April 19 that he would need an MRI after his right elbow was “barking”, then backed off the following day after watching him throw without any setbacks. The team eventually got him an MRI, which came back clean, and had him throw two more bullpen sessions with no problems. The team’s ace will look to get back on track after two straight sub-par outings. With his arm seemingly healed and his illness in the rearview, expect deGrom to revert back to his regular stellar self if the weather holds up.

Saturday, April 27: Brandon Woodruff vs. Noah Syndergaard, 7:10 p.m. on WPIX

Woodruff (2019): 26.1 IP, 32 K, 9 BB, 4 HR, 5.81 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 1.48 WHIP

After pitching well late in the season last year and opening the team’s National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies, Woodruff earned a spot in the team’s 2019 rotation. The 26-year-old has struggled out of the gate, pitching to a 5.81 ERA although sporting a much better 3.91 FIP, which shows that things have not been all bad. Still, he’s allowed four earned runs or more in three of his five starts, including a season-high five earned runs his last time out against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has pitched into the sixth inning in each of his last starts after failing to do so in his first two appearances, but he has given up more than one hit per inning so far this season.

Syndergaard (2019): 29.0 IP, 34 K, 7 BB, 3 HR, 5.90 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 1.28 WHIP

Syndergaard knows he needs to be better, and said as much after putting forth another less-than-stellar effort against the St. Louis Cardinals when he referred to his performance as “unacceptable”. After being charged with six runs (four earned) in five innings at Busch Stadium, he has now allowed at least four earned runs in four out of his five starts in 2019. He was burned again by leadoff walks and has generally had issues stranding baserunners, as he’s currently sporting a 50.3% LOB percentage. He has been working a lot of three-ball counts and has had trouble putting opposing batters away, but his velocity has so far been fine. There’s plenty of time for Syndergaard to turn things around, and there’s reason to believe he will based on his overall career performance, but the bottom line is he will need to be better and pitch like the top-of-the-rotation arm that the club expects him to be.

Sunday, April 28: Zach Davies vs. Steven Matz, 1:10 p.m. on WPIX

Davies (2019): 27.1 IP, 19 K,10 BB, 2 HR, 1.65 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 1.35 WHIP

Davies has emerged as Milwaukee’s most reliable starter and owns a team-leading 1.65 ERA after five starts. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any start, and has allowed one or fewer in three of his appearances. The only real cause for concern so far has been his walks, as he’s handed out 10 so far against 19 strikeouts. His last start was his shortest of the year, as he needed 103 pitches to get through 4.2 innings while allowing two runs on seven hits against the Cardinals. His best outing came on April 13 against the Dodgers, when he pitched seven innings of one-run ball to earn the win.

Matz (2019): 22.1 IP, 25 K, 8 BB, 5 HR, 4.03 ERA, 5.00 FIP, 1.21 WHIP

What a difference one start makes. After enduring his worst career outing, Matz took the mound at home against the same Phillies team and was masterful across six stellar innings. He gave up just one run and three hits while striking out six to earn his second victory of the year. He was able to avoid the big inning and didn’t let anything get to him like he has been prone to do in the past. It’s easy to forget after the debacle in Philadelphia, but Matz has been sold in four of his five starts so far this year and owns a sparking 1.61 ERA in those for appearances. It’s always a toss-up whether you will get the good Matz or the bad Matz, but there’s reason to believe that he’s made some solid progress and can be a dependable starter for the entire season if he remains healthy

Prediction: Friday night will be rained out, leading to a Saturday doubleheader which the Mets will split. The Mets will win on Sunday to claim their second straight series victory.

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Brewers

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    The Mets take advantage of the struggling Brewers in a three-game sweep
    (20 votes)
  • 56%
    The Mets take two out of three to earn another series win
    (78 votes)
  • 6%
    The Mets take one but drop the series
    (9 votes)
  • 10%
    The Mets are swept away in a lost weekend
    (14 votes)
  • 12%
    Pizza!
    (18 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now