The New York Mets are making their second championship appearance in a row. Pete Hodges has our Kansas City Royals 2015 World Series preview in anticipation of their matchup with the Kansas City Royals.
Game 1: Mets @ Royals 8 PM Tuesday 10/27
Game 2: Mets @ Royals 8 PM Wednesday 10/28
Game 3: Royals @ Mets 8 PM Friday 10/30
Game 4: Royals @ Mets 8 PM Saturday 10/31
Game 5: Royals @ Mets 8 PM Sunday 11/1*
Game 6: Mets @ Royals 8 PM Tuesday 11/3*
Game 7: Mets @ Royals 8 PM Wednesday 11/4*
All times are Eastern
The New York Mets went 90-72 winning the NL East and earning the third seed in the National League. Their 683 runs were the 7th best in the NL while their 177 home runs tied them with the Washington Nationals for third place and they placed last in steals with just 51.The team hit .244/.312/.400 with a .287 BABIP, and had the 9th best wOBA in the league at .309. Their BB% of 7.9 and K% of 21.0 placed them at sixth and eighth, respectively.
New York’s rotation recorded a 64-51 record, with a 3.44 ERA, 3.50 FIP and 3.49 xFIP. Batters hit .243 against the starters, striking out 21.6% of the time and walking 5.2%, for a combined starters’ WHIP of 1.15.
The bullpen posted a 26-21 record with a 3.48 ERA in 460 innings pitched. The relievers had 50 saves, 71 holds and 21 blown saves. Their K/9 and BB/9 were 8.73 and 3.33, respectively. They kept opposing hitters to 0.83 HR/9 while allowing a BAA of .230 and .286 BABIP.
Hitters at a glance
Catcher – Travis d’Arnaud (R/R) is the starting catcher for the Mets’ squad. The 26-year-old played in 67 games in 2015 as he suffered a broken hand in April. In his shortened season, he put up a .255/.318/.441 line while hitting 12 homers. The young catcher struck out in 17.3% of the time while walking at a 7.9% rate. He threw out 33% of would be base stealers.
First Base – Lucas Duda (L/R) is the starting first baseman for the Mets. In 135 games this year, the slugger hit .238/.338/.431 while belting 27 home runs. He also walked 11.7% of the time while striking out at a 24.9% clip.
Second Base – Playoff hero Daniel Murphy (L/R) has hit a home run in six consecutive postseason games. During the regular season, the left-handed batter hit .281/.325/.408. He’s a high-contact hitter as he only walked 6.0% of the time while striking out in just 7.1% of his at bats.while hitting 14 homers.
Shortstop – The nearly traded Wilmer Flores (R/R) mans the shortstop position for the Mets. The 24-year-old hit .263/.295/.408 in 2015, while slugging 16 home runs. He generally bats out of the 8 hole with a 3.7% walk rate and a 12.4% strikeout rate.
Third Base – Veteran David Wright (R/R) bats second and plays third base. Wright missed much of the 2015 season with a back injury. In 38 games, he hit .289/.379/.434 with 5 home runs.
Left Field – Yoenis Cespedes (R/R) was acquired in a trade deadline deal and he has paid enormous and near instant dividends for the Mets. In 57 games for New York, Cespedes hit .258/.305/.463 with 17 home runs.
Center Field – 2014 Gold Glove winner Juan Lagares (R/R) patrols centerfield for the Mets. The right-handed batter hit .259/.289/.358 this year in 143 games with six home runs and seven steals.
Right Field – Veteran Curtis Granderson (L/R) played 157 games for the Mets in 2015. He put up a .231/.327/.407 slash line while belting 26 homers.
Rookie Michael Conforto (L/R) has been the primary fourth outfielder for the Mets this postseason. In 56 games this year, Conforto hit .260/.321/.435 while hitting 16 homers. The youngster is considered one of the best outfield prospects in baseball and is proving his worth during his first taste of postseason baseball.
In his first postseason start Matt Harvey went five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks. The young righty only had one bad inning, giving up all three runs in the second. Harvey then took the mound in Game 1 of the NLCS and pitched 7 ⅔ innings giving up just two runs while striking out nine.
Harvey missed all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery and made 29 starts this year with a 13-8 record. In 189 ⅓ innings of work, Harvey put up a 2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP, and 3.24 xFIP. The four-seam fastball (54.24%) is his weapon of choice, and he mixes in a slider (14.21%), curve (12.80%), change (12.21%) and sinker (6.55%). Harvey’s fastball clocks in at 96-mph while his slider, curve and changeup are thrown at 90-, 84- and 89-mph.
Jacob deGrom won Game 1 of the NLDS and will take the hill for the Mets in Game 2 of the World Series. In his first career postseason start, deGrom shut down the Dodgers, tossing seven brilliant shutout innings, allowing just five hits and one walk and striking out 13. In the deciding Game 5 of the NLDS, deGrom shined as he went six innings and gave up just two runs. The young righty then proved his mettle again in Game 3 of the NLCS as he went seven innings allowing just two runs on the way to yet another victory.
The young ace had a 14-8 record with a 2.54 ERA, 2.70 FIP, and a 2.92 xFIP during the regular season. His BAA was an impressive .210. deGrom throws a four-seam fastball more than any other pitch (45.57%) while mixing in a slider (16.22%), sinker (16.13%), change (12.26%) and curve (9.82%). He throws his fastballs around 95-mph, while his other pitches range between 81-mph and 89-mph.
Noah Syndergaard’s playoff debut was a decent showing, but not enough for a win in Game 2 of the NLDS. The rookie went 6 ⅓ innings allowing three runs on five hits and four walks. Syndergaard did flash some of the brilliance that makes him a top prospect as he struck out nine batters. Syndergaard then made a bullpen appearance in Game 5 of the NLDS, striking out two while walking one in a shutout inning. In his most recent start, the righty went 5 ⅔ innings giving up just one run in Game 2 of the NLCS.
In 24 regular season starts, the righty posted a 9-7 record with a 3.24 ERA, a 3.25 FIP and a 2.91 xFIP. He held batters to a .221 BAA, striking out 9.96 batters per nine innings, while only walking 1.86. Syndergaard relies on a four-seam fastball (37.98%), sinker (23.74%) and curve (20.24%). He also mixes in a changeup (14.21%) and a rare slider (3.84%). Syndergaard’s fastballs clock in around 98-mph while his curve registers at 81-mph.
Steven Matz had his postseason debut in Game 4 of the NLDS. The rookie went five innings while giving up three runs in the losing effort. He made his second playoff start in Game 4 of the NLCS, and while he did not earn the W, he went 4 ⅔ inning giving up just one run.
Matz made his major-league debut on June 28, allowing 2 earned runs over 7 ⅔ innings, while striking out six. His second start showed the first was no fluke, as he pitched 6 innings of shutout ball while striking out eight Dodgers. Then on July 9 the Mets announced that Matz had suffered a partial tear to his lat muscle and he would not appear in another game for two months.
Matz returned on September 6 and made four starts to close out the last month of the regular season. In those four starts, the lefty posted a 2.86 ERA, a 3.18 FIP, and a 3.21 xFIP over 22 innings. The rookie relied heavily on his four-seam fastball (68.23%), while his favorite secondary pitch is a curveball (19.79%). He also throws a change (9.90%) and a slider (1.91%). He throws his fastball and curve 95- and 77-mph, respectively.
Jeurys Familia has been lights out in the 2015 playoffs. The young closer has pitched 9 ⅔ innings of shutout ball. During the regular season, Familia went 2-2 with 43 saves in 76 appearances. The righty pitched 78 innings putting up a 1.85 ERA while striking out 9.92 batters per nine innings and walking 2.19. Familia relies heavily on his sinker, throwing it 61.59% of the time and tossing his slider 21.38%.
Tyler Clippard is the primary setup man for the Mets’ bullpen. Clippard was acquired in a midseason trade from the Oakland Athletics and put together a combined ERA of 2.92 and a 5-4 record. He had a K/9 of 8.11 while sporting a 3.93 BB/9. Clippard primarily relies on a four-seam/changeup combo while mixing in a slider, splitter, and curveball.
Addison Reed is a right-handed reliever acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Reed pitched 55 innings out of the bullpen in 2015 with a 3.50 ERA while striking out 8.87 batters per nine innings. The righty featured a fastball-slider combo with a 67%/32% mix and a very rare changeup.
Pete Hodges has also written about the origins of the rally cap, the call up of Luis Severino andSeptember call ups.
Follow Pete on Twitter @PeterWHodges.
Check out Rick Rowand’s Kansas City Royals World Series preview and our Championship Series recaps.