The Mets pulled out a roller coaster late innings win yesterday over the Reds and head to the great north for a three game set against the Blue Jays. While we are on the topic, who else misses the Expos? I miss having two Canadian teams, I miss the Stade Olympique and I miss Youppie (the only mascot to be shared by multiple teams). Let's see what we are up against:
Pitching tonight is Ricky Romero who is an absolute walk machine with a bb/9 of 4.39 and a k/9 of only of 6.08, which is not horrible but not great considering his walk rate and hr/9 (over 1). This is pretty standard for Romero, his career bb/9 is 3.61 yet he has still had some success in the last few years. Some people will point to his pitching strategy or other intangible as reasons for that, I am more of the belief that his success is unsustainable and he will start losing a lot more.
Next up is Brandon Morrow who is pitching very well this year with an ERA/xFIP of 2.22/3.71 with a WAR of almost 1 which is impressive for a pitcher at this point in the season. Morrow is our biggest worry of the weekend.
Finally on Sunday is Henderson Alvarez who has a classic good standard numbers/bad advanced analytic numbers. His ERA this season is a slim 2.62 but a FIP of 5.18 and an xFIP of 4.56. His strike out and walk numbers are even worse, maybe the worse I have seen this year: k/9 of 2.45 (what!) and bb/9 of 2.13. This is a classic example of a standard stat making someone look great but advanced stats showing they are awful.
On the offensive side the good new is that Jose Bautista is playing terrible right now (.207/.329/.443) the bad news is, it won't last. Bautista is going to start getting better and playing closer to what is expected, at this point we should just hope he doesn't start this weekend. The other good news is that Brett Lawrie should be out of the lineup after dropping the appeal of his 4 game suspension. Lawrie was rocking a 1.5 WAR and was the biggest offensive tool the Jays had.
This is the first game the Mets are playing against the AL and will be using a DH. The obvious choice here is Hairston but my vote for the spot is Justin Turner, J Turn has displayed a great eye at the plate and has had some great pinch hit performances. He is only batting .234 in 51 PA but I think some more at-bats might be what he needs.
As a team the Jays are 21-18, they have scored 179 runs and allowed 154.