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Brewers (25-46) vs Mets (36-35) series preview

Mets still throw the ball well and still can't hit it. They've fallen out of first place in their division and if they don't make some trades they'll going to stay on the outside looking in.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Mets faced the Brewers they were holding onto to first place in the NL East. I said then their offense as it was would not hold up and now they're just 1 game over .500. They're in second place now but are closer to first (1.5 GB) than they are to the second wild card (3.5 GB). If the Mets don't do something about their offense soon, they're going to have yet another season end without a playoff berth.

The Mets are now 22nd in team wRC+. As a team they're slashing 239/302/369 which is not far off from the Brewers' 237/287/378 (I know how much that hurts to look at, I'm sorry). My point is, the Mets pitching staff is really carrying that team right now. Their pitching staff is certainly better overall than the Brewers, but it's not going to be able to carry them into the playoffs.

Dillon Gee has been out-righted off the roster which is no surprise as he was their worst starter. With Noah Syndergaard in the rotation now they have three solid options in him, Matt Harvey, and Jacob deGrom. But their limited abilities are starting to catch up to Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese. Steven Matz is hanging around in AAA just begging for a call up but that hasn't happened yet. That has led some to guess that he's being held down in order to preserve his service time for a trade.

Their bullpen is good. But it's more just solid across the board than outstanding in any single reliever. They just got Bobby Parnell back from TJ surgery which could add another boost. But again, none of this matters if they can't get more juice out of that lineup.

Offensive Spotlight

Lucas Duda (269/374/475, .370 wOBA, 140 wRC+) has long been the only major offensive force on the Mets, but they did get catcher Travis d'Arnaud back off the DL. In 8 games since 6/10 he's slashed 267/313/533 (.363 wOBA, 136 wRC+). On the season he's hit 296/338/535. That's a big bat even if he's not going to play in every game since he's a catcher.

Pitching Match-Ups

Tuesday June 23, 7:10 pm CST: Mike Fiers vs Jon Niese

Jon Niese had a solid run where he was solidly mid-rotation caliber. For whatever reason his strike out ability peaked early and has slowly been declining every year after 2011. He maintains a better than average walk rate but he gets hit pretty hard. He has a career .267 BAA and 1.36 WHIP. He's been worse this year: .285 BAA, 1.59 WHIP. Both are career worsts.

A left-handed pitcher, he throws a fastball (87-89), cutter, curve ball, and change-up.

Wednesday June 24, 7:10 pm CST: Jimmy Nelson vs Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon is getting wrecked by home runs this year. He actually has one of the highest strike out rates of his career (18.7 K%) and the lowest walk rate of his career (2.5 BB%) which is a career best 16.2 K%-BB%. On the surface his .269 BAA seems high, but it's pretty much exactly where he's been living the last 7 seasons. Yet his ERA an ugly 4.81. It's because of his 1.36 HR/9.

He throws almost exclusive a fastball (85.7% of the time) that sits around 87-89 mph. He also pepper in a slider and less frequently a change-up.

Thursday June 25, 1:10 pm CST: Taylor Jungmann vs Jacob deGrom

If the Brewers want to win this series they'll probably have to do it in the first two games. Jacob deGrom is the class of the Mets rotation so far this year: 25.6 K%, 5.0 BB%, 0.68 HR/9, .207 BAA, 0.96 WHIP, 2.34 ERA, 2.73 FIP.

He throws fastball (93-95), slider, change-up, and curveball.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs