Both the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets are on opposite ends of their divisions, but both have been playing well as of late. The Mets enter this series taking four out of five against the Braves to expand their NL East lead. While the Reds have been playing some good baseball of late, despite where they are in the standings. They took two of three against a good Milwaukee Brewers team recently. Now both squads meet for a three game series clash at Citi Field.
Reds Record: 44-63
Mets Record: 70-39
Justin Dunn (Season Debut) vs Chris Bassitt 8-7, 3.61 ERA
Mike Minor 1-8, 6.19 ERA vs Carlos Carrasco 12-4, 3.82 ERA
TBD vs Taijuan Walker 9-3, 3.45 ERA
What to watch for:
Mets: Can the offense stay hot?
The Mets are coming off perhaps their biggest series victory of the season. They took four out five in a rare five game series against the team that is chasing them, the defending world champions Atlanta Braves. It was a huge statement for the Mets. Coming into the series, the Mets just had a 3.5 game lead and now it has jumped to 6.5. The biggest reason for that has been their offense, Pete Alonso especially. The first baseman had an excellent series against Atlanta, going eight for 16 with five runs batted. He is now second in runs batted in, in all of major league baseball only behind Aaron Judge. He and the entire Mets offense combined 31 runs in their series against the Braves and will look to continue their hot streak.
Reds: It’s a reunion!
This series provides a number of memories for several players on both teams. The Reds have Albert Almora and Matt Reynolds, who have both spent time on the Mets in recent years while Justin Dunn was drafted by them. The Mets also have Tyler Naquin who was on the Reds two weeks ago. The most exciting reunion is the Diaz brothers, Alexis and Edwin are the go to options in their respective bullpens and will be in the spotlight several times in this series. There is going to be lot of emotions in this series for a number of key players.
The pitching matchup:
The Mets will throw out the bottom three of their rotation in this series. Game one will feature the veteran Carlos Carrasco, who has really had a breakout year for his standards in his second year in New York. In his last seven games, he has pitched to a 4-1 record with a 2.68 ERA. Game two will have Chris Bassitt on the mound for the Mets. Bassitt has pitched to a 2.93 ERA in his last seven starts so he will look to continue his consistency this season. Game three will have Taijuan Walker. Walker has been solid as of late but in his last start against the Braves, he was not as sharp. He only went an inning plus and gave up eight runs.
All eyes will be on Justin Dunn in his Reds debut. Dunn came over in the Jesse Winker trade before the season started. He has been battling a shoulder injury for quite some time now and is finally ready to make his debut. Dunn has had some serious ups and downs in his young career and the Reds are hoping he can tap into more of the good. With the recent trades and injuries to the starting pitching, Dunn is going to have a lot on his shoulders for the rest of the season.
Who wins the series:
Logan VanDine’s Prediction: I have the Mets sweeping this series. The Mets have a lot of things going well for them right now as they have won five out of their last six and both their offense and pitching has been great. The Reds are just outmatched in this series despite playing some good baseball of late.
Logan Fulmer’s Prediction: I don’t see a way the Reds win this series. The Mets are simply better in every area of the game. The last time these two teams met, it was a very competitive series but I don’t see that being the case this time around. The Mets will stay hot and sweep the Reds.