Game Preview: Mets @ Nationals

The Mets kick off a weird week with a quick road trip to DC. The Mets are coming off of another loss where they had the lead late, but couldn’t hold on, in what has become a horrendous stretch. Further this week the Mets have two days off Thursday and Friday as they make the journey to London.

The Nationals are four games below .500 but generally have been punching above their weight this season. This week provides an opportunity for the Mets to slow the Nationals roll. For the Nationals, they have a chance to show they are a Wild Card contender.

Tylor Megill has a 1.69 ERA, 1.96 FIP, 1.000 WHIP and a 229 ERA+ over three starts and 16 innings so far this season. He’s coming off of a tremendous start against the Dodgers where he shut the Dodgers out over seven innings, limiting them to three hits while striking out nine. In his only start against the Nationals last season, Megill allowed two runs, one earned over five innings. The Nationals have the following career numbers against Megill:

  • CJ Abrams 0-2
  • Joey Gallo 1-3, HR, 2 K
  • Luis García Jr. 1-7, 2B, BB, 2 K
  • Joey Meneses 1-4
  • Eddie Rosario 5-10, 2 2B, HR, BB, 2 K
  • Keibert Ruiz 2-5, 2B, BB, K
  • Lane Thomas 1-10, HR, BB, 5 K
  • Ildemaro Vargas 1-1

The Mets bats draw MacKenzie Gore in the midst of a breakout season. Over 11 starts, 58 2/3 innings, Gore has a 2.91 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 1.278 WHIP and a 134 ERA+. For comparison, last season over 27 starts he had a 4.42 ERA, 4.89 FIP, 1.401 WHIP and a 96 ERA+. Over his last two starts he has allowed three runs, two earned over 12 1/3 innings of work while striking out 18 batters.

Gore faced the Mets three times in 2023 holding the Mets to four runs despite allowing 14 hits and walking eight batters over 15 innings of work. He also struck the Mets out 15 times. The Mets have the following career numbers against him:

  • Pete Alonso 1-7, BB, K
  • Harrison Bader 1-2
  • José Iglesias 1-2
  • Francisco Lindor 0-8
  • Starling Marte 2-5, K
  • J.D. Martinez 1-2, HR, K
  • Jeff McNeil 6-7, BB
  • Tomás Nido 0-2, K
  • Brandon Nimmo 2-8, BB, 2 K
  • Tyrone Taylor 1-5, HR, K
  • Mark Vientos 0-2, K

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. Jeff McNeil. Jeff McNeil has not had a very Jeff McNeil like season, currently hitting .227/.296/.320 (82 OPS+). He’s a career .293/.356/.429 hitter with a career OPS+ of 118. In three of the four last seasons, his OPS+ has been below 100, but in the one season it wasn’t, he had a 140 OPS+. A great way to start heading back to his career averages is getting a few hits against a pitcher he has hit well against in the past. McNeil has gone 6-for-7 lifetime with a walk against Gore.
  2. Washington’s Run Scoring Style. The Nationals are 27th in the league in home runs and 1st in the league in stolen bases with 94 this season. The Mets lost Saturday’s game because of stolen bases and homers. The Mets lost Sunday’s game due to homers. So this is mixed for the Mets. While they have been weak to homers recently, that’s not the Nationals strength. The Mets have been letting teams run wild on them and that is something the Nationals do regardless. Let’s see how things shake out this week.
  3. Mets bullpen usage. The Mets need to get through three games and then everyone gets two days off. Adrian Houser was the only pitcher who wasn’t used Sunday in the pen and we’ve seen the Mets already deploy him in a way that allows him to close out the game. The only pitcher who pitched on back-to-back days is Danny Young. In an ideal world, Megill goes deep and Houser can close things out today.

Let’s Go Mets!

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