Both of these teams are on the outside looking in at the playoff picture in the National League. The Diamondbacks have battled their way through injuries and trades to hang around in the NL Wild Card race. They enter 2.5-games back of the Chicago Cubs for the final postseason spot with just under three weeks remaining in the regular season. Mired in more controversy, the Mets have slid 4.5-games back in the postseason race. After winning the series opener, can New York take control of the series with a win at home on Wednesday night?
Ray dealing with blister heading into Wednesday’s start
When 25-year-old second baseman Ketel Marte eclipsed his career-high in home runs during the month of June, people dubbed him a breakout candidate. A few short months later, Marte’s continued production has launched him into the conversation for NL MVP. The DBacks’ All-Star is batting .328 with 32 home runs, 91 RBIs, and a .982 OPS so far this season. His 6.3 offensive WAR is already the third-best single-season mark in DBacks’ history and Marte has been at the forefront of the DBacks’ recent surge up the standings. Despite losing two in a row, Arizona comes into play on Tuesday having won 11 of their last 14 games.
Lefty Robbie Ray is scheduled to toe the rubber for the DBacks’ in Game 3 on Wednesday for his 30th start of the season. The 27-year-old left-hander has been dealing with a blister on his middle finger, but he reported having no issues with it after playing catch on Sunday. The blister may have been limiting him in his recent starts though, as he’s thrown 92 pitches or less in five of his last six outings.
With that being said, Ray has been the DBacks’ most consistent pitcher during the second half. In 10 starts since the All-Star Break, Ray is 6-1 with a 4.18 ERA and he’s continued to strike out batters at a torrid rate. He’s fanned a whopping 31.1 percent of the batters he’s faced in 2019, while limiting them to a slim .226 batting average and cutting his walk-rate down to 11.0 percent. The DBacks’ left-hander comes in with a 12-7 overall record to go along with a 4.03 ERA in 29 starts.
Alonso keeping Mets alive in postseason race
Strong pitching and some clutch hitting from surefire NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso have kept New York alive in the playoff race. Alonso slugged home runs No. 46 and 47 to back up ace Jacob deGrom and propel the Mets to victory in the series opener. With another multi-homer game, Alonso not only took over sole possession of the MLB lead, but he put himself on pace to break Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record of 52. If he continues to hit dingers at his current rate, he’ll launch six more the rest of the way.
New York will turn to emerging left-hander Steven Matz on Wednesday for his 27th start of the season. Matz has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball during the second half, going 4-2 with a 2.78 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star Break. The 28-year-old has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last six starts and 12 of his last 13 overall. He’s been especially tough to score on at home, going 6-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) at Citi Field compared to 3-7 with a 6.08 ERA on the road this year. Last time out, the Mets’ lefty surrendered two runs on six hits in 5 ⅔ frames in a no-decision versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
Matz has faced the DBacks once already this season. He gave up five runs in six innings of work versus the DBacks back on June 2 and he owns a 4.76 career ERA in four career starts against Arizona coming into this game.
- Diamondbacks are 6-0 in Rays last 6 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Diamondbacks are 8-0 in Rays last 8 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Diamondbacks are 5-1 in Rays last 6 starts.
- Mets are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 3 of a series.
- Mets are 2-8 in their last 10 home games.
- Mets are 1-7 in their last 8 games vs. a left-handed starter