The Reds embark on their first road trip of 2014, heading to New York City to face off against the Metropolitans. The Mets are coming off back-to-back 74 win seasons with a challenge from their GM to win 90 games this season. For a team coming off five straight losing seasons and did little in the offseason to improve their stock, that is quite the challenge.

All 3 weekend games will be on Fox Sports Ohio. For those of you in the New York television market, all games will be on SNY.

The Mets scored 3.8 runs per game last season, ranking 11th in National League. The only changes Sandy Alderson made to the lineup were to find outfield replacements/upgrades for Marlon Byrd and Lucas Duda.

New York fans hope that Granderson’s 2013 results (.229/.317/.407 in only 61 games) were a fluke, as Alderson brought him across town on a 4-year $60 million contract. Chris Young is the other new outfielder and is expected to be a bigger asset defensively than offensively.

All stats in the table below are based on the 2013 season. An asterisk (*) indicates the player bats left handed. The number symbol (#) indicates that he is a switch hitter.

Player Pos Age OBP SLG OPS SB/CS
Eric Young, Jr.# CF 29 .318 .329 .647 38/7
Daniel Murphy* 2B 29 .319 .415 .734 23/3
David Wright 3B 31 .390 .514 .904 17/3
Curtis Granderson* RF 33 .317 .407 .724 8/2
Chris Young LF 30 .280 .379 .659 10/3
Ike Davis* 1B 27 .326 .334 .660 4/0
Travis d’Arnaud C 25 .286 .263 .549 0/0
Ruben Tejada SS 24 .259 .260 .519 2/1

While this still isn’t a great offensive team on paper, they will test the catcher’s arm when they do get on base.

The Mets ranked 7th in ERA and WHIP among National League starters in 2013. However, they will play most, if not all, of the 2014 season without their young ace, Matt Harvey, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Alderson signed Bartolo Colon to a new on 2-year deal after finishing 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA for Oakland last year. Peripheral stats (3.95 xFIP) suggest that Colon will experience some reversion this season.

Mike Leake3.373.911.

Name ERA xFIP WHIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Friday, April 4th @ 7:10 pm
Jenrry Mejia 2.30 2.31 1.17 0.7 1.3 8.9
Saturday, April 5th @ 1:10 pm
Dillon Gee 3.62 4.07 1.28 1.1 2.1 6.4
Johnny Cueto 2.82 3.23 1.05 1.0 2.7 7.8
Sunday, April 6th @ 1:10 pm
Jonathon Niese* 3.71 3.84 1.44 0.6 3.0 6.6
Alfredo Simon 2.87 4.22 1.07 0.8 2.7 6.5

The Mets relievers ranked 12th among National League bullpens in ERA and WHIP last year, and their 2nd best reliever (LaTroy Hawkins) signed with the Rockies offseason. Looking to improve on that performance, Alderson signed Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. Valverde made the opening day roster with a strong spring, but Farnsworth was sent to AAA.

However, their closer and best reliever, Bobby Parnell, was put on the disable list after his opening day appearance with an elbow injury. Tommy John surgery was discussed as a possible solution to his injury. Jose Valverde, who was outrighted to AAA by the Tigers last June, is now the early favorite for saves. Farnsworth was recalled from the minors to replace Parnell on the active roster.

The Reds defeated the Mets in four of their six contests last season, outscoring New York 20-14. It doesn’t appear that the Mets have done much to improve their squad since last season, and hopefully the Reds will be able to start scoring more runs facing the Mets pitching.