Tonight at 7:10, the Mets begin a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Mets are set to play a Red team that is currently running away with the NL Central crown. Their .600 winning percentage is second in the majors, behind only Washington, and they’ve been playing so well recently even without their best hitter Joey Votto.
The Reds’ offense is middle-of-the-pack. They are 16th in baseball in runs and 19th in on-base percentage. It has been the pitching that has carried them.
The starting pitching for the Reds is solid. Their starters rank sixth in baseball in ERA. Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos are both having incredible seasons. Cueto is the best starter in the Cincinnati rotation, but will not face the Mets in this series.
The bullpen for Cincinnati has been their biggest strength this year. They have by far, the best ‘pen in baseball, and the numbers back it up. The bullpen’s 2.66 ERA is almost half a run better than the Pirates, who are second in that category. They have also struck out over ten batters per nine innings. Aroldis Chapman has been the leader of that group. He is having a season for the ages as the closer for the Reds. He has a whopping 106 strikeouts in just 57 innings this season. He has been so dominant that he is in the Cy Young Award conversation, rare for a relief pitcher. If the Mets are trailing late in any games in this series, don’t expect them to win, or even put up a fight.
How They Compare
Game 1- Tonight 7:10
Chris Young (68.1 IP, 79 ERA+, 2.10 K/BB)
Mat Latos (141.2 IP, 111 ERA+, 2.95 K/BB)
Game 2- Wednesday 7:10
R.A. Dickey (162.1 IP, 141 ERA+, 4.61 K/BB)
Mike Leake (131.2 IP, 94 ERA+, 2.94 K/BB)
Game 3- Thursday 7:10
Matt Harvey (22.1 IP, 107 ERA+, 2.17 K/BB)
Homer Bailey (141.1 IP, 104 ERA+, 2.63 K/BB)
- Ryan Ludwick (R) – .266/.335/.555, 21 HR, 20.9 K%, 8.4 BB%
- Jay Bruce (L) – .243/.325/.486, 22 HR, 22.9 K%, 10.7 BB%
- Brandon Phillips (R) – .296/.334/.453, 13 HR, 10.9 K%, 4.8 BB%
- Ike Davis seems to be hitting well again. He has a .303 batting average this month to go along with a .378 on-base percentage.
- Ruben Tejada has also been on fire recently. He is hitting .362 this month.
- The Reds bullpen really has two capable closers in it. Although Sean Marshall lost the closing job to Aroldis Chapman earlier this season, he has still pitched very well. He has a 2.89 ERA this season and has a 10.5 K/9 rate.
- Speaking of Aroldis Chapman, his season has been one of the best in baseball history for a relief pitcher. He has struck out 16.7 batters per nine while only walking 2.2. He is regularly hitting over 100 miles per hour with his fastball, and set the MLB record for fastest pitch at 105.1 miles per hour. He seems unstoppable right now.
- Jay Bruce is a big home run threat for Cincinnati, but has had trouble recently. Since the beginning of July, Bruce is hitting .211.
- On the other hand, Ryan Ludwick has made up for Bruce’s struggles. Ludwick is hitting .330 in that span along with ten home runs.
- Joey Votto had arthroscopic knee surgery on July 17 and will not be playing in this series.