The Cincinnati Reds (66-74, 36-32 home) host the New York Mets (66-74, 33-39 road) for three games this weekend. The two teams enter play on Friday with identical 66-74 records. Both teams are all but eliminated from their division races (Reds 11.0 GB, Mets 12.0 GB). The two teams are 7.0 back from the second wild card spot with 22 games left.
The Reds were just swept in Baltimore, and are 6-16 in their last 22 games. The Mets are coming off back-to-back wins against the Marlins, and are 20-24 in the second half.
The Mets have got surprisingly good seasons from Juan Lagares (102 wRC+, 4.0 WAR), and Daniel Murphy (119 wRC+, 3.1 WAR). Murphy is however on the 15-day DL right now. The Mets have got an unbelievably incredible offensive season from Lucas Duda (.251/.343/.478, 26 HR, 77 RBI, 132 wRC+), which prompted the article Is Lucas Duda A Star NowÃ‚Â from Mike Petriello onÃ‚Â Fangraphs. The Mets have however had very disappointing seasons from former All-Stars David Wright (96 wRC+, 1.8 WAR), and their big 2013-14 off-season signing, Curtis Granderson (95 wRC+, 0.5 WAR).
Friday’s matchup of Simon vs Colon is a good old ERA vs FIP debate. Traditional measures say that Simon (3.28 ERA) has been much better than Colon (4.01 ERA). But, if you are a regular reader of this site you know by now that FIP is a much better way of measuring what a pitcher can actually control (K, BB, HR). That means Colon (3.39 FIP) has actually been much better, and much less lucky than Simon (4.41 FIP).
Saturday’s matchup of Cueto vs Gee gives the Reds a significant advantage. I think the numbers below speak for themselves, no matter what you value in a pitcher.
Sunday’s matchup should be a fun one, as Latos and Wheeler have nearly identical numbers (with Latos a much better BB rate, and Wheeler a much better K rate). Zack Wheeler was the sixth overall pick back in 2009 for the Giants, and was traded for Carlos Beltran in 2011. Wheeler’s fastball averages an impressive 95 MPH.
The Mets are pretty good defensively. They rank 9th in the MLB in DRS (27), and 7th in UZR/150 (3.0). The Reds are 3rd in DRS (43), and 4th in UZR/150 (5.6).
Billy Hamilton has been very good defensively, with 9 DRS (8th in the MLB among CF), and 19.5 UZR/150 (3rd among MLB CF). As hard is it is to believe, Mets CF Juan Lagares has been around three times better. Lagares has 29 DRS (most among MLB CF), and 34.6 UZR/150 (most among MLB CF). I hope Steve Smith has seen footage of Lagares’ cannon of an arm.