The Mets are on the verge of doing something for possibly the first time in franchise history.
New York Mets at Baltimore Orioles
New York’s pitching staff dominated Baltimore hitters for a second consecutive night, picking up a 3-1 victory on Saturday night and capturing its first road series win of the season. The Mets lead the majors with a 2.31 ERA in June, leading the team to an 8-2 record during the month (+540). The offense is hoping to get a contribution from OF Jason Bay in the series finale, as he’s suffering from a 0-for-16 slump. It’s hard to imagine that he breaks out this afternoon due to his .152 average (5-for-33) in his last nine games at Camden Yards. The Mets are 4-1 in interleague play this year (+380) and 109-107 overall against the American League since 1997.
Mets SP Mike Pelfrey has been a main contributor to the starting rotation’s success over the last couple months, producing a 4-0 record and 1.19 ERA in his last five outings. The right-hander has a great chance of continuing his great run, considering the Mets are 4-0 in his interleague starts on the road. Pelfrey has been rock solid on the road this year, posting a 3-1 record and 2.93 ERA in five outings (four starts), including wins over division leaders’ San Diego and Atlanta in his last two appearances. He has been a dominating pitcher under the lights, but has posted just a 1-1 mark and 5.09 ERA in four daytime appearances, allowing a .292 average by opposing batters (.210 at night).
Baltimore continues to suffer through a forgettable season that seems to get worse with every passing week. The Orioles have been outscored 96-35 in losing 14 of their last 16 games overall. Opposing pitchers are having their way against the Baltimore lineup, posting quality starts in 15 of their last 16 games. In fact, opposing starters have made 43 quality starts against the Birds in 61 games. The main problem for the club is its recent inability to produce the long ball, with three of its regulars going through an extended power outage. Ty Wigginton has gone 60 at-bats without a home run, while Miguel Tejada (155 AB) and Matt Wieters (98 AB) are working on the second-longest droughts of their career. The Orioles are 1-4 in interleague play this year (-280) and 23-18 the past three seasons (+490).
Orioles SP Kevin Milwood is 0-7 with a 4.64 ERA and will be making his 14th start of the season. The right-hander received little run support in his first seven outings, going 0-4 with a 3.26 ERA, but has gone 0-3 with a 6.34 ERA over his last six starts. “I’m just not throwing the ball where I want to. I need to locate,” Milwood said. Perhaps a game against a familiar National League-foe will help turn things around, as he has gone 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last five starts against the Mets. Milwood is 0-2 with a 4.14 ERA in six home starts this year, surrendering 11 home runs in just 41.1 innings of work.
Bettors must be wary of jumping on the Mets to sweep the series, when the team has never swept a road series of any length in interleague play. New York is also sitting at a disappointing 10-18 mark on the road (-660), even with its first two victories in this series. Baltimore has had all kinds of trouble playing on Sunday’s the past three years (-2,090), but is a respectable 4-5 this season (+80).