Game Preview: Mets @ Cardinals

The Mets head to St. Louis today after a frustrating weekend in Tampa Bay. The Mets were swept over the weekend but had a chance in each game. On Friday night the Rays took a massive early lead that the Mets were able to chip away at and lost by only two runs. On Saturday the Mets walked in the two winning runs. On Sunday the Mets blew the lead in the 9th and 10th inning.

Now the Mets get to start a new series and try to get back in the win column as they start a series against the Cardinals. The Mets played the Cardinals about a week ago with the Cardinals taking two of three games at Citi Field. After this week the Mets and Cardinals won’t face each other again unless they both manage to make the playoffs.

Sean Manaea has made six starts (29 1/3 innings) this season with a 3.07 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 1.432 WHIP and a 129 ERA+. In his last three starts he has allowed only three runs over 14 2/3 innings (1.84 ERA) but has struggled with control, walking 11 batters. The deepest he’s gone in a game during that stretch is five innings, despite throwing above 90 pitches twice.

Manaea faced the Cardinals once last season in relief, allowing one run over 1 1/3 innings. They Cardinals have the following career numbers against him:

  • Nolan Arenado 3-6, HR, 3 K
  • Alec Burleson 0-1
  • Dylan Carlson 0-1, K
  • Willson Contreras 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 2 K
  • Brandon Crawford 5-16, 2 2B, BB, 3 K
  • Brendan Donovan 0-1, K
  • Paul Goldschmidt 1-3, 3B
  • Lars Nootbaar 0-1

Kyle Gibson has made six starts (38 innings) this season with a 3.79 ERA, 4.87 FIP, 1.132 WHIP and a 110 ERA+. His WHIP is down about 200 points from 2023 where he led the league in hits allowed at 198 over 192 innings. Most of the damage done against Gibson in 2024 was in his first three starts of the season. In his last three he has allowed three runs over 19 innings from 12 hits. He’s also coming off of a season high for strikeouts (9). The Mets missed him in the rotation earlier this season and last year he held the Mets to three runs over seven innings. The Mets have the following career numbers against him:

  • Pete Alonso 0-17, 3 BB, 6 K
  • Harrison Bader 0-4, BB, 3 K
  • Brett Baty 0-4, BB, 3 K
  • Francisco Lindor 19-54, 3 2B, 6 BB, 9 K
  • Starling Marte 5-13, 2B, BB, 3 K
  • J.D. Martinez 10-34, 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB, 11 K
  • Jeff McNeil 7-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 K
  • Omar Narváez 5-20, 2B, BB, K
  • Tomás Nido 1-5, 2B, BB, 2 K
  • Brandon Nimmo 5-18, 2 2B, 3 BB, 4 K
  • DJ Stewart 0-5, 2 K
  • Joey Wendle 11-29, 4 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 K

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. Teams are running wild on the Mets. The Mets have been horrid at stopping stolen bases and it hit a fever pitch on Sunday with the Rays stealing a total of seven bases, with one player stealing four bases by himself. The Rays are now fourth in the league for stolen bases (42), and if you take yesterday’s game out of it they would be tied for 7th, so they are a team that runs a lot. The Cardinals are near the bottom of the league with with only 15 stolen bases. Will they feel empowered to steal some bags against the Mets?
  2. Lindor hot-streak loading! Over his last four games Lindor has gone 5-for-17 at the plate with three doubles and a homer. He’s also recorded eight RBI’s during this stretch. The increase in power recently with RBI’s is something the Mets offense desperately needs. If a struggling Mets hitter like Alonso can click at the same time, the Mets offense will be in a much better place.
  3. The Mets are striking out a lot. On Friday night Mets batters struck out nine times. Seven players had one strikeout and Nimmo had three. On Saturday Mets batters had 10 strikeouts over eight players. On Sunday Mets batters had nine strikeouts again. Jeff McNeil had three and he was followed in the order by Harrison Bader and Brett Baty who had two each. It’s difficult to keep a rally going if you strikeout.

Let’s Go Mets!

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