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Series Preview: Pirates at Mets

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St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates head to Queens, NY to take on the New York Mets for a three-game weekend series. Neither team has much to play for as far as the standings are concerned, but it could be the final full series for some players in each dugout, as the Trade Deadline looms on July 31st.

The Mets typically play much better in their home park, logging a record of 25-20 at Citi Field so far this season. However, they won’t have either of their best pitchers during this weekend, as Noah Syndergaard pitched Wednesday and Jacob deGrom pitched Thursday.

Pittsburgh is 23-29 on the road this season and comes into the game having lost 11 of their 13 games since the All Star Break. The Bucs will almost certainly be sellers at the Trade Deadline next week.

Schedule

Friday, 7:10 p.m — Dario Agrazal (2-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (6-6, 4.69 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Saturday, 7:10 p.m. — Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.96 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (5-6, 4.75 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Sunday, 1:10 p.m. — Chris Archer (3-7, 5.40 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (5-5, 3.96 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

All games EST

Mets Notes

Offense

-The Mets offense didn’t do much in their last series hosting the San Diego Padres. The Friars took the series 2-1, and Robinson Cano was really the only bright spot for New York. He rose from the dead on Tuesday and connected for three home runs on his way to a 4-for-4 night. That seems like a blip on the radar, and should really only serve to keep his .250 avg and nine home runs from looking completely useless.

-It was really the same story in San Francisco last weekend, as the Giants took three of four games from the Mets at Oracle Park. The offense struggled mightily in all games but Saturday, and the three losses were all low-scoring affairs in extra innings. On Saturday afternoon the Mets bats exploded for an 11-4 victory behind three hits from Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis, and Amed Rosario. Davis homered along with Jeff McNeil, Todd Frazer and Pete Alonso, his 33rd of the season.

Pitching

-Zack Wheeler returns from a brief stint on the IL due to a shoulder injury. The timing couldn’t have been worse for him and the Mets, as the team was getting trade inquiries on the promising right-hander. According to the New York Post, Wheeler will be limited to 75-85 pitches on the evening. In his last outing hosting the Phillies he lasted just 5.0 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits.

-Left-hander Steven Matz takes the ball on Saturday night, as he continues his up-and-down season. He’s calmed down a bit in his last two starts after spending a couple outings in relief, throwing 10 innings combined and allowing four runs on 11 hits. After facing home run issues in the first half of the season, Matz will look to keep the Bucs in the yard, and will have a good chance to do so against the 29th ranked team against southpaws based on wOBA.

-Veteran lefty Jason Vargas rounds out the probable starters for New York, as he’ll start on Sunday afternoon. He’s having a typical year by Vargas standards, keeping his ERA right around 4.00, getting shelled on some nights, and looking untouchable on others. He kept the Padres to just one hit and no runs over six innings in his last outing, although he did walk four batters.

Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 EST on ATT SportsNet-PIT.