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New York Mets series preview: World Series Rematch, Part Deux

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Is this the postseason?

Yordano Ventura's potential realized in Norse God form.
Yordano Ventura's potential realized in Norse God form.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the season at Kauffman Stadium picking up where both teams left off in 2015, the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets pick up the back half of a four-game split series with two games at Citi Field. Just as happened the first time around, the Royals will face phenom Noah Syndergaard and the aged Bartolo Colon, baseball's oldest active player. Neither team holds its division's lead, though the Royals are just a half-game out, but this match-up still has the feel of a postseason match-up even with a handful of players injured for both sides.

*All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference

Pitching match-ups

Game One - Tuesday, 6:10 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA
Ian Kennedy 13 77.2 72 27 4.17 5.27 4.76 4.27
Bartolo Colon 14 80.2 56 13 3.01 3.55 3.92 4.18

Bartolo Colon will bat against the Royals. Hold onto yer butts.

Ian Kennedy's value on the season has now dipped to 0.1 fWAR and 0.8 rWAR. His last three starts have been particularly poor. Over those three starts, he has thrown 18.1 innings, allowing 16 earned runs while striking out 13, walking four, and hitting two batsmen. Of the 22 hits allowed in those games, eight--yes, eight--have left the yard. Kennedy's 16 dongs yielded have been worsted by only Jon Niese (17), Jered Weaver (18), Max Scherzer (18), and Chris Young (19). That problem that hopefully wasn't going to follow him to Kansas City sure looks like it has followed him to Kansas City.

Game Two - Wednesday, 12:10 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA
Danny Duffy (L) 23 54.0 63 12 3.17 3.79 3.52 3.03
Noah Syndergaard 14 85.0 106 12 1.91 1.70 2.16 2.38

Two pitchers in baseball have both a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-2.00 FIP. One is obviously Clayton Kershaw. The other is Noah Syndergaard, who in less than two seasons has asserted himself as someone who must be considered in the conversation of baseball's best pitcher. The craziest thing is that his .316 BABIP suggests that the 1.91 ERA he owns is actually higher than it probably should be. He is a freak of nature, throwing the hardest fastball, the hardest slider, and the hardest change-up of any qualified starting pitcher in baseball. Simply put, he is fantastic.

Duffy is the Royals last best hope.

The Batsmen

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Curtis Granderson (L) RF 290 13 34 21 1 .223 .310 .449 .322 106
Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS 271 6 25 21 0 .265 .325 .394 .312 99
Yoenis Cespedes CF 253 17 38 43 1 .280 .352 .564 .384 147
Neil Walker (S) 2B 245 14 26 28 1 .266 .335 .477 .346 122
Michael Conforto (L) LF 232 10 27 30 2 .231 .297 .447 .316 102
Wilmer Flores 3B 120 3 12 10 1 .241 .308 .380 .301 91
James Loney (L) 1B 74 1 6 4 0 .279 .329 .412 .321 105
Kevin Plawecki C 143 1 6 10 0 .194 .301 .258 .254 60
Bench Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Rene Rivera C 67 2 4 10 0 .190 .273 .310 .260 64
Kelly Johnson (L) IF 27 1 4 2 0 .333 .407 .542 .396 156
Matt Reynolds SS 28 0 2 5 0 .269 .296 .385 .294 87
Alejandro De Aza (L) OF 84 1 4 4 2 .169 .229 .247 .215 33
Ty Kelly (S) OF 28 1 1 2 0 .154 .214 .269 .216 34

Stats through Monday, June 20

The Mets' offense has struggled mightily of late. In the last 30 days, the Mets have slashed .230/.294/.391, good for a .295 wOBA and 87 wRC+, the latter two marks being the fourth-worst in baseball over that stretch.

Michael Conforto's past two months have been so bad as to lead some to believe that he may be sent down to get right. Since the calendar turned to May, the 2014 First Rounder has compiled a measly .157/.212/.312 triple-slash, giving the Mets a -0.907 WPA over that stretch costing the Mets nearly a win due to his struggles. Put simply the talk of his demotion carries some weight, even if his .174 BABIP in that time suggests he has been snakebit as much as anything. Were the Mets not down a Lucas Duda, David Wright, and Juan Lagares, such a demotion would be even more likely.

With the oft-injured Travis d'Arnaud set to come back as soon as today, the Mets may get improved production from the catcher slot (Rivera would need to clear waivers to get reassigned to the minors, whereas Plawecki has options, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Plawecki sent down when d'Arnaud is activated).

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