Mets iteration 1: Dom Smith at 1B, Pete Alonso DH, or vice-versa
Dom Smith being at first seems to be the most popular, but let’s break both situations down. Under the first scenario, Dom Smith would play first base, Pete Alonso would be the DH. Smith is only in left field because the DH does not exist in the National League. Prior, Smith was a first baseman and plays the position well.
Both Alonso and Smith have both improved defensively this year, though Smith is a worse defender, but the Mets would be wise to use either of these.
Most people would argue that Alonso would be the DH because his defense was only as acceptable as it could’ve been last year. It has made a big improvement. Others have seen Alonso’s struggles at the plate when universal DH was mandatory in the 2020 pandemic-shortened season.
Last year, his batting average was .231, he had 16 home runs in 57 games, and an .817 OPS. Much of this could be contributed to teams advancing their scouting reports against Alonso since he’s clearly rebounded this year.
It could’ve also been a coincidence, but Alonso has played two games for the Mets as DH this season in their eight games at American League ballparks. On their June 8 game against the Baltimore Orioles, Alonso played DH and hit fourth, going 2-for-4 with two home runs. On July 3 against the New York Yankees, Alonso went 0-for-4 and joined Michael Conforto as the only Mets players without a hit that day.
This is just a small sample size, but one of his home runs against the Orioles was off of lefty Bruce Zimmerman, and Alonso dominates left-handed pitching with an OPS of 1.015 this year against them. However, in the outing against the Yankees, he was hitless while facing lefty Jordan Montgomery.
It might make the most sense for the Mets to have Alonso and Smith take turns. But there are other options.