9/10/15 Game Preview: Wright, d’Arnaud, Murphy sit

The Mets (78-61) take on the Atlanta Braves (56-84) tonight at 7:10 PM at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Mets are chasing the division crown, while the Braves are chasing the number one overall draft pick. Reigning NL Player of the Week Bartolo Colon (4.18 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 1.24 WHIP in 170 IP over 28 starts and 1 relief appearance), with a current 25 inning scoreless streak, takes on Shelby Miller (2.81 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, 176 1/3 IP over 28 starts), the epitome of a bad luck starting pitcher this season. With those numbers, Miller only has 5 wins on the season and has 20 straight starts without a win.

Lineups:

Bartolo Colon flips behind his back for the out in last Saturday’s 9-0 complete game shutout

Mets:

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
  3. Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
  4. Juan Uribe, 3B (R)
  5. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  6. Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
  7. Kelly Johnson, 2B (L)
  8. Kevin Plawecki, C (R)
  9. Bartolo Colon, P (R)

Braves:

  1. Nick Markakis, RF (L)
  2. Hector Olivera, 3B (R)
  3. Freddie Freeman, 1B (L)
  4. A.J. Pierzynski, C (L)
  5. Nick Swisher, LF (S)
  6. Jace Peterson, 2B (L)
  7. Andrelton Simmons, SS (R)
  8. Michael Bourn, CF (L)
  9. Shelby Miller, P (R)

Cameron Maybin is out of the lineup for the Braves do to eye discomfort (scratched left cornea) and blurred vision.

Daniel Murphy, David Wright, and Travis d’Arnaud are all out of the lineup for the Mets. After a sweep in Washington, Wright and d’Arnaud are due days off against the right hander, while Murphy is still nursing his strained quad. There does not appear to be any setback with him, this is just a standard day off.

Jeurys Familia and Tyler Clippard both get the day off after a busy Washington Series. Familia had pitched three straight days, Clippard two. Hansel Robles is also unavailable due to a death in his family. Presumably, Addison Reed will be the closer tonight, with Erik Goeddel or Sean Gilmartin setting him up.

The Braves have a lefty-dominated lineup tonight, with the only right handed batters being Olivera, Simmons, and Shelby Miller. Lefties on the season against Colon are batting .290/.314/.444 with a wOBA of .324. However, the Braves are the worst slugging team in baseball by quite a bit with a team slugging percentage of .361 (The Marlins are 2nd worst at .378). The Braves, generally, work towards making contact and drawing walks (6th best K% in MLB, 10th best BB%). Unfortunately for the Braves, those play into Colon’s strengths, as he walks very few (1.11 BB/9, best among all qualified NL pitchers) and pitches to a lot of contact.

Shelby Miller is having the best season of his young career after being acquired from St. Louis in exchange for Jason Heyward. He has not gotten a win since May 17th, and in his 20 starts since, is 0-12 with a 3.46 ERA, 3.38 FIP, and 1.37 WHIP. He has not fared as well recently, giving up four or more runs in 3 of his last 4 starts (including 7 to the Nationals in 4 1/3 IP in his last start). In his home ballpark this season, Miller has a 2.21 ERA, 3.00 FIP, and a 1.19 WHIP.

The Braves recently acquired Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn from the Indians in exchange for Chris Johnson, an interesting swap of bad contracts. Swisher, since arriving, has hit .260/.398/.438 over 93 plate appearances, while Bourn has hit .186/.275/.229 in 80 plate appearances. Bourn’s defense, once elite, does not grade out well as a center fielder but grades very well in left field.

The Mets play the Braves for the first time since acquiring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from them. Since the trade, Uribe has hit .200/.294/.410 with 5 home runs while Johnson has hit .250/.301/.458 with 5 home runs.

As always, LET’S GO METS!

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