Flushing, NY- Night in and night out, baseball is hot on the streets with division leads and wild card standings in disarray across MLB. Before heading down to Atlanta for an intense 3-game set against the Braves this upcoming Monday, the New York Mets close out a short homestand this weekend with the Miami Marlins in Queens. Tallying up division wins is an underlying factor come time for September in shaping up for postseason contention. This season, the Mets are 25-10 against NL East division opponents. So far in the season series between Miami and New York, the Mets are 6-3. Compared to last season, the Mets finished 10-9 against Miami. With two games to go in the series, now is the perfect time to learn more on the probable matchups and players to watch in Marlins vs. Mets.
Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets – 4 game series
Thursday 7/7 – Results
Mets win 10-0
Friday 7/8 – Results
Marlins win 5-2
Saturday 7/9 – Probables – 4:10pm
LHP Braxton Garret (1-3, 4.25 ERA) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (9-4, 4.64 ERA)
Sunday 7/10 – Probables – 1:40pm
RHP Sandy Alcántara (9-3, 1.82 ERA) vs. RHP Taijuan Walker (7-2, 2.86 ERA)
PLAYERS TO WATCH IN MARLINS METS
MIA: Sandy Alcántara – RHP – Azua, Dominican Republic
Each and every outing this season, Sandy Alcántara has set himself apart from the majority of pitchers across MLB. In his last 11 starts dating back to May 11th, Alcántara has gone at least 7 or more innings with opponents batting .167 in that span. Alcántara was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for June. In six June starts, he finished 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched.
On the season, with a 9-3 record in 17 starts, Alcántara has totaled 107 strikeouts in 123.1 innings pitched. Currently, he leads MLB in innings pitched by a wide margin; second in the category is Phillies RHP Aaron Nola with 111.1 IP. The Marlins are 11-6 this season with their 26-year-old ace on the mound.
He is the second Marlins pitcher since the franchise relocated to Miami to record 9 or more wins before the All Star Break. The only other being the late, great Jose Fernandez, who finished with 11 wins before the All Star break in 2016. Alcántara looks to add to his historic season this Sunday afternoon as he takes the mound in Queens against Lindor and the Mets. In two starts this season facing the Mets, Alcántara is 1-1 with 6 earned runs allowed and 12 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.
NYM: Francisco Lindor – Shortstop – Caguas, Puerto Rico – 2016 AL LATINOMVP
For the Mets to remain on top of the NL East this season as well as for the long term, Francisco Lindor must be the focal point on offense, especially in the clutch with runners in scoring position. Of course, the elite defensive skills from Lindor shows on a consistent basis, but with that being said, his offensive production seems to be the catalyst for this Mets lineup. In Friday night’s loss to the Marlins, Lindor finished 1-5 with 1 HR and 1 RBI.
Pete Alonso, Starling Marte and Brandon Nimmo at the top of the lineup, along with Lindor have caused havoc for opposing pitchers; however, in the last week the offense has struggled in the clutch. The Mets have left 63 runners on base in their last 4 games. In a pattern of missed opportunities and strikeouts, the Mets were still able to 2-2 and split the 4-game span. On the season, the Mets with RISP are hitting .270 (2nd in MLB), ranking among the top ten in slugging (.435) OPS (.779), and OBP (.344).
NYM: Starling Marte – Outfielder – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
2022 Regular Season Statistics: .292 BA, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 87 Hits, 10 SB, .343 OBP
MIA: Miguel Rojas – Shortstop – Los Teques, Venezuela
In his last 12 games, Rojas has 12 hits, 5 doubles, and 3 RBI. The 33-year-old had a phenomenal 2021 season with career highs in a ton of categories including 30 doubles, 36 walks, and 13 stolen bases.
MIA: Jesús Aguilar – DH/1B – Maracay, Venezuela
2022 Regular Season Statistics: .246 BA, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 69 Hits, .293 OBP
NYM: Carlos Carrasco – RHP – Barquisimeto, Venezuela
This past Sunday against the Texas Rangers, Carrasco was much more comfortable with his pitching sequences. He completed the afternoon with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing 1 run, 6 total hits with 8 strikeouts. “I was using more of my breaking balls and going with my fastball in and out. That combination was great. That’s what we’ve been working on,” Carrasco stated after Sunday’s 4-2 victory over the Rangers.
Carrasco is projected to take the mound tomorrow afternoon against Miami. Since being acquired by the Mets last offseason via a trade with Cleveland, Carrasco has fared well going up against the Marlins. In his last 4 starts facing the Marlins dating back to last season, Carrasco is 2-0 with 9 earned runs allowed, 24 total hits with 21 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched.
NL EAST NOTE
In the midst of a 4-game series with the Miami Marlins, Lindor and the Mets entered Friday night up 3.5 games in the NL East. With MLBs regular season now past the halfway point, the Mets have shown to battle through adversity. Whether it’s the short stretches of poor offense, bullpen struggles and most of all, injury stints, New York continues to hold off their division rival, none other than the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. Led by Dansby Swanson and Ronald Acuña Jr, the scorching-hot Braves are 27-8 in their last 35 games, but remain second in the division at 50-35 overall on the season.
“There’s still a lot of baseball left to play. I know we play the Braves a lot in the second half, so a lot of things can change,” said Mets reliever Drew Smith during Friday’s postgame.
The Braves and Mets have 15 games to be played from now until the end of the regular season. To add to this enticing matchup, the Mets head down to Atlanta this upcoming Monday for a 3-game series. Much more baseball to go!
Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports and NY Sports Day
Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994
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