9/27/15 Game Preview: deGrom vs. Sampson; today is a day of rest

The Mets (88-67) take on the Cincinnati Reds (63-91) at 1:10 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The Mets go for the 4 game series sweep, while playing their reserves a day after they clinched the NL East. Jacob deGrom (2.64 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 0.99 WHIP, 181 IP over 28 starts) takes on rookie right hander Keyvius Sampson (6.45, 4.74, 1.79, 44 2/3 IP over 10 starts and 1 relief appearance).

Lineups:

[NY Daily News]

Mets:

  1. Juan Lagares, CF (R)
  2. Kelly Johnson, SS (L)
  3. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  4. Kevin Plawecki, C (R)
  5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RF (L)
  6. Eric Campbell, 3B (R)
  7. Dilson Herrera, 2B (R)
  8. Anthony Recker, 1B (R)
  9. Jacob deGrom, P (L)

Reds:

  1. Skip Schumaker, CF (L)
  2. Ivan De Jesus, LF (R)
  3. Joey Votto, 1B (L)
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B (R)
  5. Jay Bruce, RF (L)
  6. Todd Frazier, 3B (R)
  7. Eugenio Suarez, SS (R)
  8. Brayan Pena, C (S)
  9. Keyvius Sampson, P (R)

The Mets are resting their regulars today, and in doing so, put some players in unconventional spots. Kelly Johnson gets his first major league start at shortstop and first start at short since 2005 in AAA. Anthony Recker gets only his 2nd major league start at first base, his first such start since 2012 with the Cubs. The only three players in the Mets lineup who have gotten a start in the last week are Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Kevin Plawecki.

Despite today’s lineup, the Mets still have something to play for: home field advantage in the NLDS against the Dodgers. With the Dodgers’ 8-6 loss to Colorado last night, the Mets have a half game lead on the Dodgers for home field advantage, and they are tied in the loss column. The Mets will look to finish the season at least tied with the Dodgers, since the Mets hold the home field advantage tiebreaker (The Mets were 4-3 against L.A. this season).

In his rookie season, Kevin Plawecki has batted a paltry .224/.285/.291 (.252 wOBA and 59 wRC+), but has drawn rave reviews for his game calling and defensive abilities. Despite the rough offensive numbers, FanGraphs rates Plawecki at 0.1 WAR due to his defense. Plawecki bats cleanup today, and the Mets hope to get his bat going before the postseason, when he will likely be the backup catcher. Plawecki looks to get a good number of starts down the stretch.

For Cincinnati, Skip Schumaker gets the call in center field today. Schumaker has had a rough offensive season, batting only .239/.307/.330 (.281 wOBA and 72 wRC+) with a negative defensive value. Schumaker, according to FanGraphs, has been worth -1.0 WAR this season in 254 plate appearances. The Reds, of course, are without regular center fielder Billy Hamilton, who is out for the rest of the season.

As always, LET’S GO METS!

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