The Mets (47-29) will look to bounce back from another sweep at the hands of Houston as they finish off their Texas-themed homestand with three games against the Rangers (36-38). These two teams last squared off in 2017, when they split four games (two in Texas, two in New York).
For the second time this month, the Mets were swept by the Astros in a two-game set. On Tuesday night, Carlos Carrasco again saw his ugly first inning struggles resurface, which put him team in a four-run hole before they even came to the plate and resulted in a 9-1 defeat. Houston plated four in that first, with an overturned double play call proving costly. They added another in the fourth and four more in the fifth as Chasen Shreve once again added gasoline to the fire. Trevor Williams and Adonis Medina held it from there, but Framber Valdez stymied the Mets all evening. The Mets managed their lone run in the bottom of the ninth on a bases loaded walk to James McCann.
The offense was equally ineffective against Justin Verlander on Wednesday as they fell 2-0 in a matinee at Citi Field. Taijuan Walker was terrific, tossing 7.1 innings of shutout ball to match Verlander, but the AL Cy Young contender tossed 8.0 shutout innings while allowing just two hits. The Astros finally broke through in the ninth on a two-out, two-run homer by Jason Castro off Drew Smith. Ryan Pressly sat the Mets down in order in the ninth to close out the win for the road team.
With the conclusion of the sweep, the Mets finished June 13-12, which marks the first time they concluded the hellish month with a winning recorded since 2012. The “June Swoon” has become particularly common, especially in the last half-decade, and the Mets survived the month with one more win than loss while missing their two best pitchers and facing a tough 10-game road trip and four games against the defending American League Champions. While all that is well and good, they did also lose seven games on their NL East lead from the start of the month, which is more about the Braves riding a 14-game winning streak in that stretch than anything else. The Mets, who began June up 10.5 on the field, saw that lead shrink to 3.5 games at the start of play today.
The Rangers currently find themselves in second place in the AL West, 11 games back of the aforementioned Astros. Texas finds themsleves four games back for the final Wild Card spot in the AL, which is a much more manageable deficit on any potential path to the playoffs.
The Rangers made waves over the winter when they inked Marcus Semien and Corey Seager to contracts. So far, Seager has been a solid addition, while Semien has struggled to get it going with his new club. Seager is slashing .229/.303/.423 with 15 homers, 37 runs scored, a 106 wRC+, and a 1.8 fWAR in 72 games. Semien, meanwhile, is hitting .231/.289/.364 with eight homers, 39 runs scored, a team-high 12 stolen bases, an 87 wRC+, and a 0.9 fWAR in a team-leading 73 games played. Adolis Garcia has been the club’s best bat, leading them in homers (15), slugging (.490), OPS (.797), runs scored (46), runs batted in (49), wRC+ (121), and fWAR (2.2) in 72 games.
Friday, July 1: Glenn Otto vs. Chris Bassitt, 7:10 p.m. on Apple TV+
Otto (2022): 42.1 IP, 34 K, 26 BB, 5 HR, 5.31 ERA, 5.18 FIP, 1.51 WHIP, -0.1 bWAR
After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Yankees, Otto found himself in Texas as part of the Joey Gallo trade last year. After posting a 9.26 ERA in his first six career starts last year, he’s pitched to a 5.31 ERA in nine starts this season. After four solid starts in a row between May 19 and June 4—7 runs (six earned) over 22.0 innings—Otto had his shortest start of the year against the Nationals. In that outing, he lasted just 2.0 innings and was tagged for six earned runs on six hits, with three walks and one strikeout.
Bassitt (2022): 89.2 IP, 95 K, 26 BB, 13 HR, 4.01 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 1.2 bWAR
Bassitt was tremendous in his last outing against the Marlins, going 7.0 innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter during the start, which earned him his sixth win against five losses. He was bit by the long ball—a two-run home run in the fourth and a solo shot in the fifth—but was, otherwise, in control from start to finish. He threw 62 of his 90 pitches (68.8%) for strikes. It’s his third consecutive quality start in a row since he was tattooed for seven earned runs in 3.1 innings against the Padres back on June 8.
Saturday, July 2: Martín Pérez vs. David Peterson, 4:10 p.m. on SNY
Pérez (2022): 93.1 IP, 77 K, 23 BB, 2 HR, 2.22 ERA, 2.60 FIP, 1.16 WHIP, 3.0 bWAR
Pérez is having a breakout season 10 years after he threw his first pitch in the major leagues with Texas. After a brief cup of coffee in 2012, he finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting in 2013 with a 3.62 ERA, but he has not finished a season with a sub-4.00 ERA since. After bouncing around to Minnesota and to Boston, he found his way back to the Rangers this year and has put together a Cy Young-worthy campaign half-way through the season. He currently finds himself fourth among AL starters in ERA, behind Shane McClanahan, Justin Verlander, and Alek Manoah, and figures to factor into the conversation if he keeps pitching like this. June was his worst month of the year, as he pitched to a 3.90 ERA and 3.13 FIP after posting a 0.64 ERA and 2.21 FIP in May. His last time out, he earned the win while allowing four earned runs on six hits over 6.0 innings against the Royals.
Peterson (2022): 52.1 IP, 50 K, 22 BB, 4 HR, 3.10 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR
The Mets have not officially named Peterson as Saturday’s starter but, assuming he doesn’t go on paternity list, he would be on schedule to make this start with an extra day of rest. Peterson completed seven innings for the first time this year in his last outing against the Marlins, allowing two earned runs on four hits over those seven frames. Even more impressive was the fact that he struck out eight without walking a batter, which also signified the first time he didn’t issue a free pass in any start this year. For someone who has often struggled with command in the past, it was a very encouraging sign, and something he can hopefully build on in future outings.
Sunday, July 3: Jon Gray vs. Carlos Carrasco, 1:40 p.m. on SNY
Gray (2022): 71.2 IP, 76 K, 25 BB, 6 HR, 3.89 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 1.16 WHIP, 1.2 bWAR
Gray is putting together a strong first season with the Rangers after spending the first seven seasons with the Rockies. The right-hander, who finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting in 2016, has posted a 3.89 ERA and a 3.27 FIP in 13 starts so far with his new club, which would be good for the third and second best marks of his career, respectively. He has been at his best over his last four outings, posting a 1.40 ERA, a 2.20 FIP, and a 0.90 WHIP in 25.2 innings. He has earned three straight victories, with his last start being the best of the bunch. In that appearance against the Royals, he fanned eight and allowed one earned run on five hits over 7.0 innings.
Carrasco (2022): 81.2 IP, 81 K, 21 BB, 10 HR, 4.85 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR
The Mets have not officially named Carrasco as Sunday’s starter, but he would be going on regular rest after pitching on Tuesday against Houston. Truthfully, Carrasco will be happy to see a team not named the Astros opposing him. In his two outings against the AL West leaders, he was roughed up for a combined 11 earned runs on 10 hits over 6.2 innings. He struck out six while walking five and served up four long balls across the two losses. His ERA ballooned from 3.96 to 4.85 following his two starts against the Astros, so it will be interesting to see if Houston just has is number or if it is the start of a concerning trend. The worst part of the losses is that his first inning struggles, which were behind him for most of this season, resurfaced, as eight of those runs he allowed came in the very first frame.
Prediction: The Mets take two of three games from the Rangers.
How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Rangers
This poll is closed
The Mets sweep away the Rangers!
The Mets get back to their regularly-scheduled program by taking two of three.
The Mets drop another series to a Texas team by losing two of three.
The Mets are swept to conclude a winless homestand.