After a subpar showing on a road trip in Chicago and Colorado, the New York Mets finally return home for an all important series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The two struggling rivals that have yet to face off this season, and this series will be crucial for both teams to make up some ground on the surging Atlanta Braves.
While the Mets did go a mere 3-3 on the road there were some positive takeaways that the team can use going into this difficult portion of the season. However, they'll need to avoid some of the problems that caused their defeats in recent games against a solid Phillies lineup.
The Mets will win their series vs the Phillies if the lineup stays hot against struggling Philadelphia starting pitchers
After scoring 25 runs over their three games in Colorado, the Mets will look to keep the bats hitting if they want to come away with a series victory.
The Mets are slated to face off against Ranger Suarez, Aaron Nola and former Met Taijuan Walker during their three game homestand. These three pitchers have a combined 5.44 ERA on the season. Nola is the most surprising suspect on this list, as their #1 pitcher going into the season currenlty holds a lackluster 4.59 ERA.
Meanwhile, some of the Mets are finally starting to heat up at just the right time. Francisco Alvarez has led the charge, recently being moved up from #9 to #2 in the lineup by manager Buck Showalter. He has hit .400 over the past seven days, with clutch 3 run home runs in consecutive games.
Other Mets hitters have stepped up as well, with Brandon Nimmo hitting .417 over the past week and Pete Alonso mashing three home runs in that same time span. If these core pieces of the lineup are able to stay on their hot streaks and take advantage of some struggling Phillies pitchers, the Mets should be able to come away with a series victory.
The Mets will lose this series vs the Phillies if their bullpen continues to let them down
Going into the start of the regular season, the bullpen was considered a point of strength for the Mets. Following injuries to Edwin Diaz and some subpar performances, what once was a strong point has become a major liability.
The Mets have a 4.29 team ERA in the bullpen, good for one of the 10 worst in the MLB. Outside of David Robertson, most of the reliable arms on the team have been struggling mightily. With the Mets starting pitching unable to go deep in games consistently, the bullpen has been overworked and isn't deep enough to be reliable.
While the Phillies record doesn't show it, the team has one of the deepest lineups from one through nine. With Bryce Harper back in the lineup and Nick Castellanos swinging a hot bat, the Mets will have a hard time getting through some of the middle innings with a depleted bullpen.
In a pitvotal matchup with two underperforming teams, this series will most likely be determined by whichever team makes the least amount of mistakes. If the Mets are able to take advantage of questionable Phillies starting pitching and avoid too many bullpen meltdowns, they should be able to emerge victorious in front of the home fans.