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Metropolitan Steve and the Dial of Misery

The 2023 Mets have really dialed up the disappointment. Can the San Francisco Giants take advantage?

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants and New York Mets will be linked for a good long while because of everything that went down with Carlos Correa this past offseason, and if you think I’m dredging up the past for no good reason, please know I’m doing this to gloat.

The Mets were supposed to be the Walt Disney Corporation, buying up every big name property to add to their portfolio and expand their success — really dominate the industry. The Giants were supposed to be — and still are — the darling independent label. The A24, if you will.

While Steve Cohen wasn’t able to swoop and swallow whole a gargantuan deal for Carlos Correa, he did make sure the Mets retained their veteran stars and extended the other ones, to the chagrin of terrible owners everywhere. But like Disney, the Mets’ largesse has started to work against them. Their aging stars are aging out of making the team a winner.

Kinda like how Disney’s big acquisition of Lucasfilm has started to fade with every subsequent iteration of Star Wars. Will this weekend’s release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny be another portent of mismanagement? Are the Giants arriving in New York at exactly the right time? The Mets are the Giants’ opposite in success: 36-45. They’re out of the playoff picture. They’ve lost their magic.

Steve Cohen says changes are coming, much like Disney shareholders firing Bob Chapek to bring back Bob Iger, their last CEO during boom times. Yesterday marked the midway point of the season for both the Giants and Mets — this weekend heading into the 4th of July holiday was supposed to be a HUGE one for both teams. Instead, the Mets have a real flop on their hands. Somehow, Mets misery has returned.

It’s probably not fair to compare a baseball team to a major motion picture by the Walt Disney Studios, but allow me to do exactly that for a moment:

  • Payroll | Mets: $382MM (CBT figure + benefits) | INDY 5: $442MM (production + marketing)
  • Max Scherzer’s age (38) + Justin Verlander’s age (40) = Harrison Ford’s age (78) at time of production
  • Harrison Ford’s current age (80) = Mets projected win total

Uh, okay, that’s all I’ve got. And since it’s almost 2pm on the West Coast and nobody’s reading this, let me break it down fast:

The Mets have two top 30 position players by fWAR: Brandon Nimmo (2.5) and Francisco Lindor (2.4). Lindor’s 107 wRC+ would be the lowest of his career in a full season (it was 105 the COVID year). He’s supposed to be the headliner with the bat and glove; instead he’s mostly been a great defender (+7 Defensive Runs) and baserunner (9 stolen bases leads the team).

Their runs scored and team fWAR is right around league average (102 wRC+; 360 runs scored is 16th in MLB), but it’s their pitching where it all falls apart: 2.1 fWAR as a team, just ahead of the A’s for 2nd-worst in MLB. It’s Scherzer, Senga, and pray for rain... ga. Justin Verlander is there, too, but I’ll talk about him in a second.

There’s one marquee guy I haven’t mentioned yet, and that’s Tommy Pham. The Slapmaster is batting .273/.344/.488 in 195 PA. He actually has a better wRC+ than Pete Alonso right now. I would expect him to factor into this series.

But the Giants aren’t rolling into New York having to face the guy who got the guy they wanted until they didn’t. Both teams could say based on the medicals and Correa’s season to this point (.212/.287/.403; 0.6 fWAR) that they saved face, but the Giants can say it more because they’re much, much better than the Mets. Will that matter this weekend?


Where they stand


Record: 36-45, 4th in NL East
Run differential: -18 8th in the NL
Postseason standing: 9 games back of Wild Card, 17.5 games back in division
Momentum: 2-game losing streak; 5-5 in their last 10 games


Record: 45-36, 3rd in NL West
Run differential: +42, 3rd in the NL
Postseason standing: 3rd Wild Card, 2.5 games out of the division
Momentum: 2-game losing streak; 6-4 in their last 10 games


Series details

Who: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets
Where: Citi Field, Flushing, New York
When: Friday (4:10pm PT), Saturday (1:10pm PT), Sunday (4:10pm PT)
National broadcasts: ESPN (Sunday)

Projected starters:

Friday: Alex Cobb vs. Carlos Carrasco
Saturday: Tony DeSclafani vs. Justin Verlander
Sunday: TBD vs. David Peterson


Mets to watch

Justin Verlander: He’s obviously not the ace he once was. He has right the ship a bit over his last seven starts (3.83 ERA/3.70 FIP in 40 IP with 34-10 K-BB). His fastball velocity is down to around 94 and the average exit velocity against him on the season (91.7 mph) is the highest of his career.

Jeff McNeil: 2-for-27 in his last 8 games and 60 of his 72 hits have been singles this season on top of about a .660 OPS; but guess what? He has the highest batting average against any team (min 100 PA) versus the Giants: .354/.397/.522. Down for the season but not out for the count with the Giants in town.

Pete Alonso: I didn’t forget about him up above. His 1.6 fWAR just doesn’t crack the top 30. His 24 home runs, though? #3 in MLB. His 128 wRC+ is tied with J.D. Davis for 32nd-best.

Dominic Leone: Is in the Mets bullpen. He’s pitched 22.2 innings! He has a 5.16 ERA.


Giants to watch

Joc Pederson: Mash dingers. Make Pham look bad.

Alex Cobb: After Logan Webb’s rough outing and DeSclafani’s soft — though effective — last pair of starts, somebody needs to step it up and pitch like an ace. Cobb was that guy for about the first month of the season. Coming back from the IL, will be important to see him hit the ground running.

Brandon Crawford: His last time in Citi Field, most likely! I hope he has a great series.


Prediction time


Giants vs. Mets - how will it go?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Giants win series
    (74 votes)
  • 27%
    Giants sweep series
    (30 votes)
  • 0%
    Mets sweep series
    (0 votes)
  • 5%
    Mets win series
    (6 votes)
110 votes total Vote Now