Game Preview: Mets @ Guardians

The Mets escaped Miami Sunday without being swept and now have to face the first place team in the AL Central – the Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians have a 1.5 game lead and are on a three game winning streak with a 30-17 record. Their +59 run differential is the second best in the American League, trailing only the Yankees.

Things for the Mets have been a bit rocky with the Mets bullpen falling apart multiple times over the last week. Sunday though was good reset for the team with solid hitting and pitching. Let’s hope the Mets can ride that momentum to Ohio.

Tylor Megill returns from the injured list tonight. He made one start this season where he allowed two runs, only one earned over four innings from three hits and three walks while striking out four. He’s looked good across his rehab starts, allowing only one run from nine hits over 14 innings. In his last rehab start he threw 74 pitches, so hopefully the Mets can get the same if not more tonight.

Tylor Megill made 25 starts for the Mets in 2023 over 126 1/3 innings with a 4.70 ERA, 4.96 FIP, 1.575 WHIP and an 88 ERA+. The only Guardian who has faced him in a major league game is Austin Hedges (1-for-2, 2B).

Ben Lively is making his seventh start of the season today. Over his first six starts (32 1/3 innings) he has a 3.06 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 1.268 WHIP and a 125 ERA+. This a fairly dramatic improvement from his 2023 campaign where he threw 88 2/3 innings over 19 games with a 5.38 ERA, 5.35 FIP, 1.365 WHIP and an 86 ERA+. Lively has been a bit more hit-able in his last two starts allowing six runs from 13 hits over 10 2/3 innings.

Lively’s first game of 2023 was against the Mets where he pitched three scoreless innings of relief holding the Mets to four runs. The Mets have the following career numbers against Ben Lively:

  • Pete Alonso 0-1
  • Brett Bay 0-1
  • Francisco Lindor 0-2, BB
  • Starling Marte 2-5
  • Jeff McNeil 0-1
  • Brandon Nimmo 1-8, BB, 2 K
  • Tyrone Taylor 1-3, HR

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. The return of the American Spork. The talk of spring training was Tylor Megill’s American Spork. It’s a splitter pitch that he developed with Kodai Senga throughout the season, that he used a handful of times in his last start in 2023 and then throughout spring training. How many times will he throw it tonight? Will it be effective?
  2. Anymore surprise illnesses? J.D. Martinez couldn’t start Sunday’s game due to flu-like symptoms. This has been happening to the Mets for the better part of two weeks now. Hopefully whatever is spreading around the Mets clubhouse stops soon.
  3. Old Friends. Andrés Giménez is thriving in Cleveland. Over 44 games this season he is hitting .277/.377/.387 with a 110 OPS+, his third time in the last five seasons that his OPS+ is over 100. Carlos Carrasco is back with Cleveland and the Mets will see him tomorrow.

Let’s Go Mets!

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