Following a 5-5 road trip to southern California that should be deemed a success given their injury situation and who they were facing, the New York Mets begin a seven game homestand tonight carrying the National League’s best record at 40-22 and a 5 game lead on the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
The Mets will see both the Milwaukee Brewers and their division rival Miami Marlins for the first time this season. It will be three games against the Brewers through Thursday, and a four-game set with the Marlins beginning on Friday night at Citi Field.
So will the Mets continue their winning ways at home, where they are 19-8 so far in 2022?
The 34-28 Milwaukee Brewers are struggling and banged up heading into their series with the Mets tonight.
The Brewers just snapped an eight-game losing streak on Sunday when they avoided a sweep against the Washington Nationals, and they sit one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.
The Brewers possess an all-or-nothing offense. They are second in the National League with 80 home runs, but they are third-to-last in batting average and on-base percentage. And as their shortstop Willy Adames goes, so does the Brewers offense. Adames just came back from an ankle injury and is 3-of-20 in five games since returning from injury.
Also, 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich is swinging a hot bat into this series for Milwaukee in spite of the losing. He is batting .423 over his last six games with 11 hits, six runs scored, and a .983 OPS.
Their pitching is the centerpiece of their playoff chances. The back end of the bullpen is as good as it gets, with Josh Hader and Devin Williams anchoring their bullpen. Hader is likely to make his fourth All-Star team this season while it is possible Williams joins him in Los Angeles on July 19.
But the starting pitching will be tested now, because two of their top three starters in Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta are on the injured list. But the Mets will see Adrian Houser tonight, reigning National League Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes on Wednesday and youngster Aaron Ashby (who had been excellent until his last two starts against San Diego and Washington) on Thursday.
The Mets will send a struggling Chris Bassitt to the hill tonight, then David Peterson will get a spot start on Wednesday because the Brewers are hitting just .216 against lefties this season, while Tylor Megill will get the ball for the finale on Thursday.
The Mets will finally see the Marlins for the first time, but this Marlins team is much improved from last season.
Even though the Marlins right now have a record of 27-32, they have a +22 run differential, so the Marlins will not be as easy to beat as they’ve been in recent years. Plus, the Marlins just won five of their last seven games following a team meeting in which players criticized star second baseman Jazz Chisholm, Jr. to the point that teammates compared him to NBA legend Dennis Rodman, perhaps out of jealousy. But this begs the question, do his teammates know that Rodman won five NBA titles?
But whatever Chisholm has been scrutinized for, he’s been their playmaker, he is the only player in the National League currently with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases, and is sixth in the National League with a .531 slugging percentage, while winning fans over in the process at age 24.
The strength of this Marlins team is their top two starting pitchers in Pablo Lopez and Cy Young contender Sandy Alcantara. The Mets will likely miss Lopez since he is scheduled to pitch in Philadelphia tomorrow and the team is off on Thursday, but they will see Alcantara on Father’s Day. Alcantara has piched magnificent ball recently. In his last 7 starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.81 ERA, 55.2 innings pitched, 51 strikeouts, 11 walks, and a 0.737 WHIP.