Game Preview: Mets @ Rays

The Mets look to avoid a sweep and climb back up to .500 this afternoon as they take on the Rays one last time. Saturday was a day of highs and lows for the Mets. Christian Scott made his major league debut and looked terrific through 6 2/3 innings, allowing only one run. The Mets bats though disappeared again and the bullpen ended up walking in two runs in the bottom of the eighth. You know what erases a frustrating loss? A win!

Luis Severino looks to right the ship for the Mets and continue his strong 2024 campaign this afternoon. Over six starts (35 innings) this season Severino has a 2.31 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 1.057 WHIP and a 170 ERA+. He’s coming off of his strongest start of the season where he allowed one run on one hit and two walks over eight innings. Part of his success this year has come from not allowing opponents to barrel up on the ball. He’s in the 89th percentile for barrel% and 79th for average exit velocity. Further he’s in the 85th percentile for groundball%. The only players on the Rays roster who have faced Severino in a major league game are Yandy Diaz (0-for-3, 2 K) and Amed Rosario (2-for-11, HR, 3 K).

The Mets bats will try to find themselves this afternoon against Ryan Pepiot. Over six starts (34 2/3 innings) Pepiot has a 3.12 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 0.865 WHIP and a 120 ERA+. Pepiot came over from the Dodgers as part of the Tyler Glasnow trade and is close to a season high in major league innings pitched (36 1/3 in 2022, 42 in 2023). In two of his first three starts this season he allowed 10 runs over 10 2/3 innings. Since then he has allowed only two runs over 18 innings. The only Met who has seen him in a major league game before is Joey Wendle (0-for-6, BB, K).

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. Can Starling Marte build on Saturday’s game? Marte was the Mets best hitter on Saturday going 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk (he also stole a base!). When Marte’s been hot this season the Mets have been too. Before this game, Marte was 2-for-22 and no walks over his last five games.
  2. Pete Alonso’s slump. In his last seven games, Alonso has gone 1-for-23 at the plate with five walks. The Mets desperately need their big power hitter to bounce back and back up the awesome pitching performances.
  3. Can the Mets keep Rays hitters unbalanced? In Saturday’s game chat we talked about how the Braves were one of the least patient teams at the plate, near the bottom of the league in walks and near the top in strikeouts. Well they got patient yesterday at the right moment and were able to work two walks with the bases loaded to win the game. They still struck out nine times though.

Let’s Go Mets!

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