The MLB All Star break has come and gone, and the second half of the season kicks off with a total of fifteen games on the board for Friday night. One of the matchups will be between NL East rivals in the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins. These two teams did not do great before the All Star break, but will have a chance to try and turn things around before the season is up. This game will throw the first pitch at around 7:10 PM Eastern time.
New York has earned a record of 40-50 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in fourth place of the NL East. The Mets were on an eight-game home stand before the All-Star break, where they went 3-5 during that span. New York has lost ten of their last thirteen games and will look to find a way to bounce back in the first game back from the break.
The Marlins are in fifth place of the NL East this season with a record of 33-55 to this point in the season. Miami is coming off a road trip in which they went 1-5. The Marlins have lost six of their last seven games as well, which shows their recent struggles. Miami will look for the first game of this six-game home stand to go in their favor on Friday night.
Both of these teams are coming into Friday nights on a bit of a cold stretch before the All-Star break. The Mets have the better record coming into the game, but neither team has impressed a whole lot of people. Both teams are double-digit games back from the Atlanta Braves, who are in the top spot in the NL East, which means that they will likely to look to trade some assets to look towards next year. They will both try to win a divisional game on Friday night though.
The first series between these two teams was on April 1-3 in Miami. The first game was tied going into the ninth inning. Amed Rosario hit an RBI single to get it started, then Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer to give the Mets a 7-3 win. The second game got started early as Wilson Ramos, Dominic Smith, Amed Rosario and Juan Lagares all hit RBI’s in the top of the first to led New York to a 6-5 win. Rosario and Alonso each got an RBI in the third game as the Mets won 6-4 to sweep the road series.
The second series was a two-game series in New York on May 10-11. The Mets went off in the bottom of the first as they scored eight runs. Amed Rosario had a grand slam in route to a dominant 11-2 New York win. The second game was a close one as it was tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the sixth. Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto both hit solo home runs to help lead the Mets to a 4-1 win.
The third and most recent series between these two teams was in Miami on May 17-19. The first game went in favor of the Marlins as Jorge Alfaro hit a two-run home run and an RBI single as Miami pulled off an 8-6 win. Jon Berti hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, which finished as the game winner. Pablo Lopez got the win as he pitched seven innings allowing only one hit in a 2-0 win. The final game of this series was dominated by Sandy Alcantara pitched nine innings and allowed two hits and no runs in a 3-0 win.
Jeff McNeil has put up a strong season with 101 hits and a batting average of .349 so far. Pete Alonso has put up 91 hits, 30 home runs, 68 RBI’s and an OPS of 1.006 to lead New York. Amed Rosario has put up an impressive 86 hits and 42 RBI’s, while Michael Conforto has earned 70 hits, 16 home runs and 44 RBI’s this season.
The Marlins have not had a strong showing with their hitting this season. Miguel Rojas has put up 90 hits and 26 RBI’s this season. Starlin Castro has earned 86 hits and 34 RBI’s. Brian Anderson has put up 78 hits with 11 home runs and 38 RBI’s. Jorge Alfaro is the only player with double-digit home runs with 10 home runs this season.
The Mets have not been a great hitting team this season, but they have done better than Miami, who have not had a consistent hitter much this season. New York has been nicely surprised by the strong rookie season from Pete Alonso and will look for him to continue to help lead the team as they head down the final stretch of the season.
Jason Vargas will start on the mound for New York in Friday night’s matchup. Vargas has put up a record of 3-4 to this point in the season through fifteen games. He has earned an ERA of 3.77 and a WHIP of 1.312. Vargas’ last start came against the New York Yankees. He allowed seven hits and three runs through five and a third innings pitched in route to a loss.
The Marlins will see Caleb Smith get the start on the mound for Friday’s tilt against the Mets. Smith has a 4-4 record through thirteen starts this season. He has an ERA of 3.50 and a WHIP of 1.014. Smith’s last game came against the Atlanta Braves, where he pitched six innings allowing five hits and three earned runs in route to his fourth win on the season.
Both of these pitchers have similar stats to this point in the season, but Vargas is coming off a tough loss to the hard-hitting Yankees, while Smith got a tough win against the division-leading Braves. Both teams will look for these pitchers to come out and put up strong performances in this matchup as they try and avoid taking another loss.
The Marlins won the last three games against New York, after losing the first five matchups of the season. The Mets will look to take the edge in this series with a win in the first game. These two teams are far out of the playoff picture but will look to at least finish the season strong with a solid second half of the season.
BetOnline has Miami listed as a -109 against the money line for Friday night’s matchup. This implies that this game is slightly in favor of the Marlins. I believe that this game could go either way, but overall, I like the Mets. New York has a similar pitcher and a better hitting team. The Mets have found success against the Marlins this season and I believe that it could continue.