Cincinnati Reds (27-18) at New York Mets (17-25)
Tuesday, May 21 - 7:10 PM EST
Citi Field, New York, New York
After showing signs of offensive life in Chicago over the weekend, the New York Mets went right back to their low-scoring ways upon returning home. They will be hoping to get the bats turned around when they host the Cincinnati Reds again on Tuesday. The Mets managed five hits on Monday in dropping their fourth straight home game. The Reds weren’t much better, but they did get some encouraging work out of the bullpen in a 4-3 win.
Closer Aroldis Chapman had blown two straight saves, including at Philadelphia on Sunday as he allowed back-to-back home runs. But the left-hander had little trouble with New York, striking out a pair in a perfect inning to get himself back on track. Five Cincinnati relievers combined to allow two hits in four scoreless innings in the opener. David Wright and Daniel Murphy, who combined to carry the Mets offense on the road trip, went 0-for-7 in their return to Citi Field. Wright is batting .359 on the road but just .254 at home with no home runs.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Mike Leake (3-2,3.72 ERA) vs. Mets LH Jon Niese (3-4, 5.40)
Leake was one of the candidates to be bumped from the rotation when Johnny Cueto returned, but Cincinnati decided to leave the 25-year-old right where he is. Leake’s last performance, when he scattered nine hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings to earn a win at Miami, likely worked in his favor. He has been strong against the Mets in his career, owning a 1-1 record with a 1.65 ERA in four starts. Wright is 1-for-10 with four strikeouts against Leake.
Niese bounced back from a rough stretch and snapped a five-start winless streak by allowing two runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings at St. Louis last week. The 26-year-old left-hander had surrendered a total of 15 runs in 8 1/3 frames over his previous two starts. Niese has struggled to a 5.61 ERA while going 1-2 in four career starts against Cincinnati.
1. Reds 1B Joey Votto is batting .514 during a nine-game hitting streak and has multiple hits in four straight.
2. Mets 1B Ike Davis is 1-for-33 over his last nine contests.
3. Cincinnati SS Zack Cozart (illness) has missed two straight games and is day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Reds 7, Mets 2