Following the New York Mets has been a schizophrenic experience in 2023. At times the team has looked hopeless, giving up early runs and failing to get clutch hits. At other times the Mets have electrified fans with walkoff hits and sweeps of divison rivals. Which Mets team will we get in Atlanta against the Braves? Here are three bold predictions for this critical series.
1) Francisco Lindor finally gets it going for the Mets
The Mets' offense has been in a funk. Against the Blue Jays the team managed just five runs in three games, and it doesn't figure to get any easier against a Braves pitching staff that leads the National League in ERA. Outside of Pete Alonso and Starling Marte (plus an improbable two-homer game from Tommy Pham), few players on the Mets have looked comfortable in the batter's box.
Francisco Lindor has especially struggled lately, seeing his average dip down to .213 after recording only one hit in his last five games. Eight of his 12 plate appearances against the Blue Jays ended in a strikeout, but I think this is where he finally breaks out.
Lindor is a star, and you can't keep a star down for long. As his average shows, he hasn't recorded many hits for the Mets this year, but the hits he's gotten have been big, which is why he ranks sixth in the National League in RBIs.
Lindor is a passionate player, and I have no doubt that he's heard all of the criticisms against him from Mets fans. He'd love nothing more than to step up against the team the Mets are chasing in the NL East. I expect him to adjust his approach with an emphasis on making more contact, and in the process break out of his slump with at least four hits against the Braves.