The Mets come to town for the weekend, and as the series begins tonight there is a three-way tie at the top of the NL East between the Mets, Phillies, and Braves. All five teams are separately by one game:
Chase Anderson takes the mound tonight for the Phils, with a lineup that’s missing a few key pieces:
-Matt Joyce fills in for Bryce Harper, who is out as a precaution due to a store wrist that was hit by the same pitch that hit his face
-Nick Maton in for Didi Gregorius, who is now on the Covid list.
-Brad Miller for Jean Segura (on IL for right quad)
-Knapp in for Realmuto, who was a late scratch (sore hand from yesterday’s walk off wild pitch); Rafael Marchan was recalled from the Alternate Site today
Updated lineup for tonight’s game:— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 30, 2021
Marcus Stroman starts for the Mets, with this lineup:
The Immortal Mario Mendoza
We know hitters are off to a rough start, and one way to see that is by measuring against an arbitrary cutoff. The .300 level is a favorite, but another one, especially this year, is the Mendoza Line.
So far this season, of the 383 position players with 20+ plate appearances...— schmenkman (@tgpschmenk) April 30, 2021
- almost 1/3 are below the Mendoza line
- nearly 1/4 of all regulars
- 44% of all bench playershttps://t.co/jnjP5a86ln@TheGoodPhight pic.twitter.com/24jUH65agS
Now, in any single month there will always be some hitters below .200, and especially so in April, when hitting is, as a rule, typically worse than in other months. But even so, this April is quite different from 10 years ago, and even different from the most recent April we’ve seen, in 2019:
Looking at it by team, the Phillies have a slightly higher average than the Mets, .237 (9th in MLB) to .234 (13th).
But of their 11 hitters with 20+ PAs, the Mets only have one hitting under .200, Kevin Pillar. That’s MLB’s lowest % of hitters below the Mendoza Line.
The Phillies have six of their 14 hitters below the .200 level, or 43%, and that’s the 6th highest percentage hitting below the Mendoza Line in MLB.
Teams with the most hitters below .200, by percentage:
Indians: 7 players (58%)
Mariners: 7 (58%)
Orioles: 7 (54%)
Yankees: 7 (54%)
Twins: 7 (47%)
And the fewest under .200, by %:
Mets: 1 player (9%)
Royals: 1 (10%)
Angels: 2 (14%)
Dodgers: 2 (14%)