The New York Mets made the right call on Sunday going to Marcus Stroman instead of Steven Matz. It was Matz’ turn in the rotation, but manager Mickey Callaway flipped Stroman and Matz. In what was expected to be Stroman’s start today, will go to Matz. Stroman has been the better pitcher on the road and Matz has been much better, so it made a lot of sense to flip them.
If it works out, Callaway looks like a smart guy and that’s what happened in a 6-3 win for the Mets. Stroman went 4.2 innings and allowed 2 earned runs yesterday afternoon. He was aided by a strong performance by the bullpen who kept things together in the later stages of the contest.
With a 4.5-game deficit in the National League wildcard race, completing a comeback is going to be difficult. Not impossible but the Brewers won again on Sunday, so the Mets went sideways instead of going up. Yet another loss by the Cubs puts the Brewers in a prime position.
The Cubs are really struggling down the stretch and are just one week away from paying for it. It’s like they took the news of Christian Yelich’s injury a little too serious. Rather than putting their foot down firmly on the gas pedal, they regressed hard as soon as Yelich broke his kneecap.
They have only themselves to blame, as their hole continues to get deeper and deeper. Let’s certainly give a ton of cred to the Brewers, who look like a team determined to show that they are much more than just Yelich. Despite going 4-1 in their last five games, the Mets haven’t been going anywhere because of the Brewers.
If the Brewers were slipping like the Cubs, then the Mets would be in pretty good shape right now. However, that hasn’t been the case. The Mets do get one of the worst teams in the majors at Citi Field for the next four days. Head below for our free Marlins vs. Mets pick.
Miami Marlins vs. N.Y. Mets Pick:
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Matz has been way off on the road this season and the decision was made to give Stroman the start instead of on Monday. Given how sharp Matz has been at Citi Field, the move makes a lot of sense. The Mets are desperate and cannot afford to lose many games this week.
Winning out may not be enough. If the Brewers continue to play hot baseball, there is nothing the Mets can do. In any case, Matz will look to get the Mets closer to the Wild Card Game on Monday night.
He has been coasting at Citi Field in 78.2 innings. Matz owns an ERA of 1.94 and 1.11 WHIP with a stellar record of 7-1 at home. Matz should benefit in this one from pitching against one of the worst offenses in the majors as well. The Marlins enter Monday night with an average of just 3.77 runs per game.
That puts them a spot ahead of only the Detroit Tigers, who are looking at finishing dead last in baseball. Miami have been even worse on the road, with 3.5 runs scored per game away from home. Matz has been solid against the Marlins, as they’re hitting .231 in 143 at-bats.
The Mets have done a solid job against lefties this season, with a .271 batting average. They get a struggling lefty on Monday night at home. Caleb Smith has allowed 7 earned runs in his previous 14 innings of play. In four of his last six starts, Smith has allowed at least 4 earned runs.
Smith has been less effective on the road than at home, with a 4.94 ERA in 71 innings. He’s allowed double the amount of home runs, 20 yielded on the road compared to just 10 at home in Miami. The Mets cannot afford to take tonight off. A loss and they’re probably out of the postseason hunt.
I can’t see them coming back from an opening series loss to the Marlins at home. Their confidence would be shot. I don’t foresee that occurring, though. Look for the Mets to come home and take care of business against the Marlins on Monday night. At around even money, the runline on the Mets looks like a good value pick.