Friday, May 3, 2013

Series Preview: Mets

Alright I've had lunch, I've calmed down about the losses from the last half of the Nats series, and only scoring one run. Time to move on to the Mets, who are 11-15 on the season, and 3-7 in their last 10.

Game 1: Minor (3-2) v. Marcum (0-2)
Game 2: Teheran (1-0) v. Niese (2-2)
Game 3: Hudson (3-1) v. Harvey (4-0)

Minor got shelled in Detroit in this last game for 6 runs in 6+ innings. However, he's given up only 2 earned runs in his two home games against teams with similar or better records than the Mets. Marcum has been an unrivaled disaster in his two games with a 7.94 ERA, and he's only started once this year. He's a stopgap solution because the Mets have no real answers in their rotation other than Niese and Harvey. Unfortunately, we get both of them in the latter two games. Also unfortunately, the Mets have 4 guys hitting over .375 against Minor in the lineup. Murphy, Turner, Byrd, and Duda have all blasted Minor for a combined 12/28 lifetime off Minor. Triple unfortunately, we've had a hard time roughing up pitchers with high ERAs coming into our building. The good news is that nobody on the Mets have a homer off of Minor. They will have to string something together. The Braves have only have two guys over .333 off of Marcum (Schafer and JUp), and several guys (Freeman, CJ, Uggla) who are batting under .200 off of him. I don't like this matchup if the game follows the career trends over the short term.

Teheran hasn't lost a game yet. The Braves are 5-0 in his starts, but Teheran is only 1-0 in decisions. Niese is 2-2 in decisions, and the Mets are 3-3 in his starts. The difference is that the Mets have lost 3 in a row under Niese, mostly because they couldn't put runs on the board. Nobody knows how the Mets lineup will react to the rookie Teheran, but we do have a good idea how the Braves will hit Niese. Freddie Freeman should have a field day, along with Reed Johnson, CJ, Laird, Simmons, and JUp. This is a winnable game if Teheran can keep the Braves from getting in an early hole, and if Fredi G pushes the right buttons with the lineup. There are some very obvious choices here to start that aren't necessarily traditional starters. I hope he makes the right call.

The last game will be the marquee matchup of the series. You have the career ace Hudson coming off his 200th win, versus the 2nd year starter Matt Harvey and his 4-0 record. It's old guard against new guard battling on national TV. Of the Braves that have seen Harvey, only Jason Heyward has a hit, and he won't be playing. Luckily (or not, we'll see), Simmons, CJ, Schafer, Reed, BJ, and Gattis have never faced him. Harvey faced Atlanta once last year and lost. We need to repeat that effort in the anchor game. Hudson has more than enough experience against the Mets, and with the exception of Duda and Tejada, he owns them. Also in 166 ABs, he's only given up 3 homers. We need to support him with some runs, though, because he's 5-5 against the Mets in the last 3 years with a 3.34 ERA. Posting 4 or 5 off Harvey would be a win 90% of the time.

The CPA is 12-10 now on the season because the Braves decided to stop scoring in the last two games, historical advantages be damned. How do we shape up in Game 1?

CPA Prediction Game 1: Mets 4 - Braves 3

Minor is historically bad against the Mets. Marcum is bad in general, but has been historically good against the Braves. The CPA thinks the Braves slumping bats don't have good numbers against Marcum, nor have they been hitting well on the week. The Mets haven't been hitting well this week. Something has to give, and traditionally it's been Minor with a 6.03 ERA against the Mets. We'll see if it holds, or if the Braves can wake up in time to break out of this offensive struggle.


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