Major League Baseball action on Friday evening and a pair of teams from the National League East will square off as the New York Mets grapple with the Miami Marlins. This is game one of a three-game series from Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. The Mets lead the season series 5-3.
Pitching Matchup: Jason Vargas (3-4, 3.77 ERA) will toe the slab for the Mets and he will be opposed by Caleb Smith (4-4, 3.50 ERA).
Mets Look To Stay In Wildcard Race
Everyone in the National League is still alive for at least a wildcard berth, except for the Miami Marlins. The Mets are a part of that group as they are seven games out of the 2nd wildcard slot in the National League and they hope to stay in the race in this series against the Marlins. The Mets will need their pitching to improve over the 2nd half if they hope to stay in the race, especially their bullpen, which was one of the worst in the league over the first half. The pen has struggled even more of late with a 6.75 ERA over its last 10 games. The only real bright spot over the first half of the season was the play of rookie Pete Alonso, who had 30 homers at the break. That is good for 2nd in the league and oh, by the way, he went out and won the Home Run Derby as well.
The #Mets 🌟🌟🌟 shined in Cleveland.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 10, 2019
In their last series, the Mets lost two of the three games they played against the Phillies at home. On Sunday they fell by a score of 8-3 and taking the loss was Zack Wheeler, who allowed six ERs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven in just 5.0 innings of work to fall to 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA on the year. He allowed four of those runs in the top of the first and his team was never able to recover. Adeiny Hechavarria (5) and Alonso both went deep in the contest. The Mets have gone just 17-31 on the road for the year and they are 22nd in the league in run differential at -46. This will be a tough trip for the Mets as the Fish have been sneaky at times and then they have two games in Minnesota, followed by four in San Francisco.
Jason Vargas will take the hill for the Mets and he has gone 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) on the year, including 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last three starts and 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA in eight starts on the road. Righties are hitting .236 off of Vargas this year, while lefties are hitting .235 off of him. In his career, he has gone 42-51 with a 4.85 ERA in 144 games (133 starts) on the road and 9-14 with a 4.89 ERA in 39 games (32 starts) during the month of July. Vargas has gone 3-1 with a 3.27 ERA in four career starts against the Fish, including 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in one start against them here at Marlins Park.
The Mets have been a below-average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 19th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.67 rpg, while also ranking 13th in hitting at .254 and 15th in homers with 124. On the mound, they have been below average as they come in ranked 20th in the league in ERA at 4.82, while also ranking 20th in WHIP at 1.38 and 8th in K’s with 811. The bullpen ranks 28th in the league with a 5.70 ERA.
Marlins Continue To Look To The Future
The Miami Marlins are in the midst of a long rebuild and while they have shown improvements over last year, they are still the worst team in the National League. You would have to wonder where they would be if Stanton and Yelich were still on the team. Last year, Yelich won the NL MVP and this year he has 31 homers at the break, which leads the league. Then again, he had no more than 21 homers in his five years with the Marlins. Still, The Fish have some nice young talent, including Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez, along with a good young pitching staff led by Caleb Smith and Jordan Yamamoto. Miami is currently 13 games out of the 2nd wildcard slot in the National League and they are the only team that does not have a shot at the postseason in the NL.
Miami just lost two of three to the Braves at home and have now gone just 1-6 over their last seven games, scoring an average of just 2.17 rpg over their last six games. The Marlins are hoping to get their offense going against a struggling Mets’ staff in this one. In their finale against the Braves, they fell by a score of 4-3 and taking the loss was Trevor Richards, who allowed four ERs on six hits and five walks in 5.0 innings of work to 3-10 with a 4.18 ERA on the year. Garrett Cooper provided their offense in the game with a three-run blast in the 8th inning. It was his 8th dinger of the year. The Marlins have gone 15-29 at home for the year and they are 27th in the league in run differential at -87.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) July 10, 2019
Toeing the rubber for the Marlins will be Caleb Smith and he has gone 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 13 starts on the year, including 3-1 with a 1.84 ERA in five starts here at home. In his last outing, he made his first start in a month and beat the Braves 5-4 on the road. Smith allowed four runs three (earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out six in 6.0 innings of work in the contest. Righties are batting .204 off of Smith this year, while lefties are batting .191 off the southpaw. In his career, he has gone 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 12 starts here at Marlins Park and 1-1 with a 6.19 ERA in four games (three starts) during July. Smith is 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.
Miami has been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 29th in the league in scoring, putting up 3.55 rpg, while also ranking 26th in hitting at .237 and 30th in homers with 62. On the mound, they have been above average as they rank 12th in the league in ERA at 4.27, while also ranking 13th in WHIP at 1.31 and 20th in K’s with 687. Their pen ranks 24th in ERA at 4.96.
New York is:
- 5-16 in their last 21 during game 1 of a series
- 2-9 in their last 11 vs. the National League East
- None Available