Mets-Padres position-by-position 2022 Wild Card Series breakdown

Alonso and Lindor vs. Machado and Soto. deGrom and Scherzer vs. Darvish and Snell.

There will not be any scarcity of star energy within the Wild Card Series between the Mets and Padres at Citi Field this weekend, with Game 1 of the best-of-three set beginning Friday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The Mets had been pressured into the Wild Card Series by a fair stronger Braves crew that swept them on the very finish of the common season and claimed the National League East title regardless of each groups profitable 101 video games. The Padres, no strangers to elite division competitors, completed second to the 111-win Dodgers within the NL West, sending them to New York for the primary spherical of the postseason. Let’s break down all of the matchups forward of the collection.

Here’s a position-by-position rundown of the Mets-Padres Wild Card Series.

Neither crew is especially sturdy on the catcher place. For the Mets, Tomás Nido has been a great defensive catcher, with +5 framing runs and a quick common pop time of 1.96 seconds; he simply would not present a lot offense (.239 batting common, .600 OPS, three dwelling runs). James McCann was supposed to offer the offense, however he is accomplished even much less, batting .195 with a .538 OPS. The Padres have a trio of catching choices in Austin Nola, Luis Campusano and Jorge Alfaro, none of whom have been nice defensively or offensively. But between the three of them, they in all probability give a little bit extra juice on the plate than the Mets’ catchers. Maybe MLB’s No. 1 overall prospect Francisco Álvarez makes the postseason roster for New York and swings the catcher battle towards the Mets, however for now, small edge to the Padres.

The Padres have been going with a mixture of Brandon Drury and Wil Myers at first base; they may additionally use Josh Bell there. None of them are Pete Alonso. The rock of the Mets’ lineup, Alonso hit 40 dwelling runs and led the Major Leagues with 131 RBIs. He began 133 video games at first base and 150 within the cleanup spot. He posted a 146 OPS+. On the opposite facet, Myers had a 108 OPS+ this season, Drury had a 109 OPS+ after the Padres traded for him, and Bell has slumped mightily, with a 75 OPS+ for San Diego.

The Mets, ideally, may have the MLB batting champion at second base in Jeff McNeil. McNeil, who hit .326 within the common season, additionally will get some begins within the outfield, however Tyler Naquin can man proper subject in opposition to the Padres’ righty starters, and if Starling Marte and/or Darin Ruf are wholesome and on the Wild Card Series roster to face Blake Snell, McNeil may keep at second all collection. If not, Luis Guillorme has been succesful for New York all yr, particularly defensively. Jake Cronenworth (17 dwelling runs, 88 RBIs) was an All-Star for a second straight yr in 2022, but when it is him vs. McNeil at second base, this one goes to McNeil.

Sorry, Eduardo Escobar. Manny Machado is an enormous edge for the Padres right here — possibly their largest at any place (however learn on). Machado is likely one of the high NL MVP contenders together with the Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, batting .296 with 32 dwelling runs, 102 RBIs and +8 outs above average on protection. His 7.4 fWAR led the National League and ranked behind solely Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani in all of MLB. Escobar hit 20 dwelling runs for the Mets this season, however he isn’t near Machado’s degree.

Francisco Lindor vs. Fernando Tatis Jr. would have been one of many premier matchup battles in any playoff collection. But Tatis will not play this season, so as a substitute, it is Lindor, who’s received over New York with a resurgent second season there, vs. Ha-Seong Kim. Kim has accomplished a superb job holding down the shortstop place in Tatis’ absence (150 video games performed, 11 dwelling runs, 12 stolen bases) however simply is not the difference-maker that Tatis is — or Lindor is. The Mets star completed the season with 26 dwelling runs, 16 steals and a career-high 107 RBIs whereas taking part in a wonderful shortstop with +13 outs above common.

Mark Canha had one more productive season in his first yr in New York, posting a .367 on-base proportion and 122 OPS+ with a Major League-leading 28 hit-by-pitches for a Mets crew that set the fashionable hit-by-pitch file. Jurickson Profar has been stable for the Padres, too, with 15 dwelling runs and a 111 OPS+, so this one is almost even, however Canha’s been only a tiny bit higher.

The Padres’ largest query coming into the postseason is what they will do in heart subject. Trent Grisham is a superb defender, with +13 outs above common, and is in concept a house run menace, with 17 lengthy balls on the season. But his offense has been nonexistent down the stretch — he batted .107 in September and October, bringing his season common all the way down to .184, properly beneath the Mendoza Line. But if not Grisham, the Padres must go to both José Azocar, who’s actually a platoon participant to face lefties — and the Mets’ starters are all righties — or Myers, who’s positively not a real heart fielder. The Mets, however, have the alternative of a query mark in heart subject: Brandon Nimmo. New York’s on a regular basis leadoff man hit 16 dwelling runs with a 130 OPS+ on the season and has been greater than succesful in heart (+6 outs above common).

If Juan Soto is the Juan Soto who carried the Nationals to the 2017 World Series title, he is as massive a bonus as Machado. Even in a “down” season by his requirements in 2022, when his batting common dropped to .242, Soto nonetheless led the Majors with 135 walks in comparison with simply 96 strikeouts, and hit 27 dwelling runs with a 149 OPS+. If he hits like he is hit in each different season of his profession, he may carry the Padres to the World Series, too. For the Mets, if Marte can return, they no less than have an All-Star proper fielder, too, however even Marte is way outmatched by peak Soto. If Naquin is on the market, the hole is even greater.

DH can also be a query for the Padres due to Bell’s struggles — he hit simply .192 post-trade to San Diego — which may immediate them to make use of Myers at DH as a substitute. But the Mets have their questions there, too, on the right-handed facet of their platoon. Lefty slugger Daniel Vogelbach will begin in opposition to the Padres’ righties, and he is been excellent in New York, with a 139 OPS+ in 55 video games (to not point out his excessive potential for postseason cult hero standing). But in opposition to a lefty like Snell, the Mets’ choices are both Ruf, who’s struggled and ended the common season on the injured listing, or a rookie like Álvarez or Mark Vientos. Because two of San Diego’s high three starters are righties, although (Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove), Vogelbach’s presence within the lineup for a number of video games within the collection offers the Mets the sting at DH.

You’d assume the Mets’ elite rotation, fronted by Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt, would have the sting in opposition to anybody. But the Braves simply proved even these three could be crushed — and the Padres, with Darvish, Snell and Musgrove, are one of many few groups with a high three that may rival New York’s. Still, overcoming deGrom (3.08 ERA, 14.3 Ok/9) and Scherzer (2.29 ERA, 10.7 Ok/9) in entrance of the house crowd in New York can be a frightening job in a brief collection. You have to offer this one to the Mets, even when it is shut.

This battle is nearly as good because the one between the beginning rotations. Edwin Díaz vs. Josh Hader. Two elite closers. Hader had 36 saves this season and struck out 14.6 batters per 9 innings — however he was additionally surprisingly weak at occasions, with a 5.22 ERA total and a 7.31 ERA for the reason that Padres traded for him. And Díaz? Díaz is the perfect nearer on this planet proper now. He notched 32 saves with a 1.31 ERA … and a staggering 17.1 Ok/9. He struck out over half the batters he is confronted this season. As far because the bridges to the 2 closers, each San Diego and New York have a number of succesful setup males however some questions in center aid. With Díaz, although, the Mets take this one.

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