The Mets (22-16), losers in 6 of their last 10 and with a home won loss record of 15-4, will open next week by welcoming in the National League leading St. Louis Cardinals (25-12), losers in 5 of their last 10 games, for a four game set. This is a big early season series as the Cardinals have been a mainstay in the National League playoff picture and if the Mets consider themselves playoff hopefuls this season, they need to show it in this series.
Can the Mets offensive resurgence continue against a Wainwright-less Cardinals staff? The Cardinals will be showcasing Lackey, Wacha, Martinez and possibly Garcia in this four game set against the Mets and without Wainwright, the Mets should not be scared of any of these guys. While Lackey has had success throughout the majority of his career, he is getting closer to the end and no longer can blow batters away with his less than stellar repertoire. The Mets bats awoke against the Brewers after a long absence, which should only help their confidence heading into this battle with the red birds. On another positive offensive note, the Mets have hit 14 of their 30 home runs in May.
Can Harvey extend the Mets winning streak to 3 games against Jon lackey tomorrow night? The Dark Knight (5-1) is now part of a very impressive, and very powerful, 3-headed monster, alongside deGrom and the quickly emerging Syndergaard. Harvey has shown no ill effects from his Tommy John surgery and has been a stopper for the Mets all season. For the first time, in a while, stopping is not on his to-do list and extending the winning streak will be his top priority. In his short career, Harvey has started two games against the Cardinals, going 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA. He has pitched 12 innings, walking 4 and striking out 11, while the Cardinals have hit .262 against him.
Will the Cardinals offense keep slipping against the Mets (the top pitching staff in the National League since May)? The Cardinals have dropped to the bottom half of the National League in offense since May began. In April, the Cardinals were hitting .274 with a .339 OBP and .408 SLG. When the calendar changed to May, the Cardinals average fell to .257 with a .322 OBP. Whether it is facing better opposing pitcher or just a team slump, the Mets and their plethora of quality pitching (both starting and bullpen) need to take full advantage of this current Cardinals skid. While Molina and Holliday are hitting for average, they have not displayed the power as of yet (and the Mets need to keep it that way). This Cardinals offense is led by Carpenter, Wong and Peralta and that is whom the Mets pitching will need to pay extra attention to if they expect to win this series.