The Baltimore Orioles (12-11) are headed to Citi Field for a two game interleague series this Tuesday and Wednesday against the Mets (16-10). While the Orioles are coming in winners of two straight and five of their last ten, the Mets have lost their last two and seven of their last ten. The Orioles are fighting to catch the suddenly surging Yankees while the Mets are fighting to hold off the rest of the NL East after a quick start and a recent fall back to the pack.
Will the Mets offense make an appearance? During the 4 game series with the Nationals, the Mets offense was awful, and that is putting it nicely. They ended the series scoreless in their last 18 innings (1-0 shutouts in each of the last two games), batted .205 for the series, .174 with runners in scoring position, and struck out 39 times to just 7 walks. Duda has cooled off dramatically since his scorching start and aside from Lagares, there is no Met that the Orioles should fear at the plate.
Can the Mets starters continue to dominate despite the lack of offense? The Mets pitching, especially the starters, have been great thus far (Harvey has been otherworldly). The Nationals series was no different. Aside from a few early hiccups by Gee and a few recent hiccups by deGrom, this starting staff has been better then advertised. The Mets starters posted an ERA below 2.00 in the Nationals series and have been averaging at least 6 innings throughout the season. However, when you are headed to the rubber night in and night out knowing a single run may cost you a win, it has to take a toll on you mentally eventually.
Will the fans continue to show up in support of the Mets at Citi Field? Thanks to the hot start, including the 10 game home-stand sweep to open the season, the Mets faithful have been showing up in full force. They have been loud, energized and hopeful. However, over the last series with the Nationals and the poor showing on defense and offense, the cheers and excitement has turned into anger and boos. While all that ultimately matters is the play on the field, having the support and fanbase behind you keeps Citi Field as an advantage as opposed to neutral grounds for those that oppose the orange and blue.