Last night saw the end of the Cardinals chances at an Immaculate Season from their rotation where the first five take every start of the season. Stupid rain. The rain and subsequent doubleheader robbed us from seeing Carlos Martinez on Sunday night, but it does make for better pitching matchups in this series on the road against fellow wild card contender New York Mets. The Cardinals should destroy the Mets.
The Mets have not had a good run of injury news of late. Matt Harvey is now out for the season with thoracic outlet surgery. Yoenis Cespedes has been moved off center field which has caused Michael Conforto to play there. Lucas Duda has been out for some time, causing James Loney to enter as the primary first baseman. David Wright’s back issues led to the team signing Jose Reyes following the latter’s 51 game suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.
The Mets still have a good team, but the team is in flux as the second half gets going. The team just took two of three from the Miami Marlins to make the wild card race a real mess. Yoenis Cespedes is still the team’s star from a position player standpoint, and on the season he has 21 homers and a 153 wRC+ to lead the Mets.
After Cespedes, the team is full of players who hit pretty close to average. Second baseman Neil Walker is a solid hitter, as is his shortstop partner Asdrubal Cabrera. At 35, Curtis Granderson is still getting it done. Michael Conforto hit poorly enough to get sent down earlier this year (he wasn’t actually that bad with a 95 wRC+), but has been back up and actually playing center field. The team also has Juan Lagares, who is an actual center fielder.
Travid d’Arnoud is a solid-hitting catcher, but he’s only gotten 129 plate appearances this year and has yet to do much them. Wilmer Flores has been good for the Mets in a variety of roles. James Loney has hit well at first base for the Mets, but that seems unlikely to last.
On the pitching side, Noah Syndergaard is a beast and pitches tonight for the Mets. With Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list, Syndergaard might well be the best pitcher in baseball pitching right now. He’s struck out 31% of batters while walking just 5% of hitters. His ERA is 2.43 and his FIP is 1.99, and assuming the arm concerns from earlier in the season are mild in nature, he will have a shot at the Cy Young. Carlos Martinez pitches for the Cardinals in a matchup of two of the game’s best young pitchers.
On Tuesday night, Bartolo Colon will pitch for the Mets. He pitches a bunch of different fastballs and doesn’t walk too many hitters. He doesn’t strike many out, either, and has given up a few more home runs than the Mets would like. He has a 3.48 ERA, but a 4.28 FIP is a better indicator of his current talent level. Jaime Garcia will take the mound for the Cardinals.
On Wednesday, Logan Verrett is likely to pitch for the Mets. After Matt Harvey was lost for the season, the righty Verrett appears in line for starts until Zack Wheeler comes back. Verett has pitched mostly out of the bullpen this year, and has not been particularly effective. He uses mainly a fourseam fastball that hits about 90 mph and a slider, but mixes in a twoseamer, a curve, and change. Adam Wainwright will pitch for the Cardinals.
Tonight’s game is at 6:10 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest
Tuesday’s game is at 6:10 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest
Wednesday’s game is at 6:10 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest