Game Preview: Mets @ Twins

The Mets look to avoid the sweep this afternoon in Minneapolis as they take on the Twins for one last time in 2023. The story for the Mets has been the same for the last two games – they’ve gotten quality starts from their starters but each day one pitcher in the bullpen self-destructed giving the first-place Twins a new chance to hold on to. Can the Mets buck the trend today?

Tylor Megill will make his 22nd start this season. Over 102 1/3 innings he has a 5.28 ERA, 5.16 FIP, 1.661 WHIP and a 79 ERA+. He hit the 100-innings pitched this season mark in his last start, the first time in his career! In his last start he allowed three runs from five hits, including two homers, over 5 1/3 innings. Those two homers have been part of a trend since he returned to the majors in August. He’s allowed seven homers now over six starts and 31 innings (5.52 ERA, 5.33 FIP. Further, he’s allowed two homers in the same start on three different occasions in his last six starts. The only player on the Twins roster who has seen Megill in a major league game before is Andrew Stevenson (1-for-3).

The Mets get to face an old foe today in Pablo López. López spent his first five major league seasons in the NL East as a member of the Miami Marlins. There were a lot of rumors that the Marlins were going to trade him during the 2022 season but they held on to him, and traded him in January to the Twins for Luis Arráez, a trade that has helped both clubs! López had his first All-Star season this year playing for the Twins. Over 28 starts he has pitched 170 2/3 innings with a 3.59 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 1.184 WHIP and a 122 ERA+. He’s coming off of a strong start where he allowed one run over six innings against the Guardians. Since August 1st he has made seven starts with a 1.93 ERA allowing only 10 runs, 9 earned over 42 innings. These numbers are even better because five of those nine runs came in just one bad start. The Mets have the following career numbers against Pablo:

  • Pete Alonso 5-21, 2B, HR, 4 K, 2 BB
  • Brandon Nimmo 8-25, 2B, HR, 3 K, 3 BB
  • Francisco Lindor 7-20, 3 2B, HR, 3 K
  • Jeff McNeil 10-19, 3 2B, HR, K, BB
  • Daniel Vogelbach 2-9, 3 K
  • Rafael Ortega 1-4
  • DJ Stewart 0-2, 2 K
  • Omar Narváez 0-1, K

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. Nimmo’s power run: Brandon Nimmo has been showing a bit more power this month, already hitting four homers in seven games. In those seven games he’s gone 9-for-30 with two doubles, four homers and six runs scored slashing a .300/.344/.767. He has an OPS+ of 123 this season, making it his fifth season now with an OPS+ above 120.
  2. Pete Alonso home run watch. Pete Alonso hit his 43rd homer of the season yesterday. It was a week ago when Alonso ended his homer-less streak and hit two home runs in the same game against the Mariners before hitting another home run in the Mets following game Tuesday night against the Nationals. He still has a chance to get to 50 on the season!
  3. Raley, Gott and Bickford out of the pen. The Mets have had an unusual week thanks to an off-day before and after the series with the Nationals. The Mets have also had two quality starts in a row from the pitchers in Minnesota. Because of that, Raley, Gott and Bickford, the only pitchers used out of the pen on Wednesday, haven’t pitched in a baseball game since Wednesday. In fact, there are no pitchers in the Mets bullpen who have pitched in back to back days since Tuesday. I don’t remember another point this season where this was true.

Let’s Go Mets!

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