It was another home divisional series dropped for the New York Mets as the Miami Marlins took two out of the three at Citi Field. Now, the Amazin’s will begin an eight-game road trip starting with an interleague battle against the Cleveland Indians. Mixed with veteran leadership and young talent, the Indians have tons of potential to be a force in the MLB. The same can be said for the Mets who, like the Indians, have gotten off to a mediocre 3-5 start (Indians are 3-3). Progressive Field in Cleveland will showcase both teams looking to break the .500 mark and start an early season run up the rankings.
Friday: Bartolo Colon (0-1, 1.23 ERA) v Cody Anderson (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
Jackie Robinson Day across the big leagues will be a trip down memory lane for Colon on Friday as he pitches against the team that signed him as a free agent back in 1993. Colon spent five and a half years with the Indians until being traded midway through the 2002 season to the Montreal Expos. The 42-year-old still shows hints of that power arm, and he will need it against the Indians lineup.
Colon will go against rookie hurler Anderson who seems to have picked up where he left off in 2015. Starting only 15 games last season, Anderson finished with a 7-3 record and a 3.05 ERA. He may be the fourth man in this powerful Cleveland rotation, but Anderson has the potential to climb up the ranks as he possesses nasty stuff that needs just a little tweaking.
Pitching Edge: Starting the season on an abysmal 32-degree day in Chicago, Anderson fought relentlessly to keep the Chicago White Sox at bay with just two runs over six innings. It is predicted to be 63 and sunny in Cleveland on Friday, and with Anderson’s arm warm, the edge should be in favor of the hometown pitcher as he gets the start in real baseball weather.
Saturday: Matt Harvey (0-2, 4.63 ERA) v Josh Tomlin (2015: 7-2, 3.02 ERA)
This is most certainly not the way Matt Harvey wanted to start his 2016 campaign. In his last start against the Philadelphia Phillies, Harvey went six full innings allowing three earned runs on six hits, one being a homer. His command as been out of sorts, but there are loads of starts left for the right hander. Harvey will look to turn the tides in his favor this Saturday.
Tomlin will get his first start in 2016 on Saturday as bad weather and off-days have halted the young righty from taking the mound. It has been 17 days since Tomlin last touched the rubber in a live game, and it doesn’t help that he will be going up against the Mets ace. However, he is coming off an impressive 2015 season and is itching to help his team win.
Pitching Edge: The long waiting period for Tomlin may be detrimental to the Indians, and with Harvey gunning for his first win, this matchup should roll in the Mets favor.
Sunday: Steven Matz (0-1, 37.80 ERA) v. Corey Kluber (0-2, 4.85 ERA)
The long awaited start for Matz did not go well as the rookie allowed seven runs in just one and two-thirds innings against the Marlins. This time around, Matz will have a regular period of rest instead of the long stretch without an appearance. Hopefully this normal routine will have the lefty back to normal form.
Like Harvey, Indians ace Kluber hasn’t been as dominant as he would like. In his last appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays, he did throw seven and two-thirds innings, but his three earned runs could not be counteracted by the Indians offense ultimately giving him the loss.
Pitching Edge: With both pitchers not at their best so far, it is hard to give either the edge for the matchup. Kluber is the home pitcher with a lot to prove as the ace of the staff while Matz looks to return to his form of last season. Kluber can get the slight edge on paper, but the first couple innings will tell who has the true edge on Sunday.
More About This Series
Both sitting fourth in their respective divisions, the Mets and Indians, who have no ceilings on their potential, have not lived up to it to start the season. Key components have not been doing their jobs. This series, however, could see that page turned over as the kinks for players like Yoenis Cespedes and Harvey get worked out. Whatever happens, it will be a beautiful weekend for baseball and yet another year where the league honors the late and great Jackie Robinson.