The Mets have had the definition of an up-and-down start to their 2023 campaign. That’s what happens when you post a 7-6 record through 13 games. And while watching New York heading west for a 10-game road trip is a minor buzzkill this early in the season, it could help them get on a roll.
Taking Wednesday’s rubber match against the San Diego Padres gave New York its second straight series win while also clinching a 4-2 homestand. While the final seven games of this trip won’t be easy against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, it all starts with the Oakland Athletics.
It wouldn’t be right to call this an “easy” matchup, but it’s one the Mets should control. After all, Oakland is in the American League West basement and owns one of baseball’s worst records. Here’s what the probable pitching matchups look like at the moment.
Friday at 9:40 p.m. ET: Kodai Senga vs. James Kaprielian
Kodai Senga is looking like a certified stud through his first two MLB starts. He’s also had the benefit of some excellent matchups. His first couple of turns through the rotation were against the usually offense-challenged Miami Marlins. And now, he draws the Athletics for start number three. Senga’s first 11.1 MLB innings have included two wins, a 1.59 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and 14 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, James Kaprielian’s season hasn’t gotten off to a great start. He’s allowed 12 runs on 14 hits and five walks through 9.2 innings, which has included four home runs. However, the right-hander has never faced the Mets, so there’s a good chance he shuts them out over seven-strong. That’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes for the Amazins.
Saturday at 4:07 p.m. ET: Carlos Carrasco vs. Shintaro Fujinami
As Justin Verlander continues to work his way back from a stint on the injured list, you’d have to think Carlos Carrasco is fighting for his rotation spot a little bit, right? I mean, Tylor Megill has been pitching way too well to be demoted. The veteran has racked up just 8.2 innings through two starts. He’s allowed 11 runs on 10 hits (three homers) during this time, which is concerning. More concerning, though, is that he’s added seven walks into the equation.
Similar to Kaprielian, Shintaro Fujinami’s season has also gotten off to a slow start. The only difference is the last two starts have been the first ones of Fujinami’s MLB career. He’s failed to complete five innings in either opportunity. While the hurler hasn’t yet allowed a homer, he’s walked seven while allowing eight hits and 13 runs.
Sunday at 4:07 p.m. ET: Max Scherzer vs. JP Sears
After getting bitten by the home run across his first two 2023 starts, Max Scherzer got himself on track at Citi Field against the Padres. He only lasted five innings, but the right-hander didn’t allow a run on just one hit. That was a big step in the right direction. Mad Max has faced the A’s eight times and is the owner of a 3-1 record with a 4.29 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 62 strikeouts in 42 innings.
JP Sears’ season has gotten off to a better start than his two rotation mates, but not by much. He owns a 5.59 ERA and 1.35 WHIP through 9.2 innings. The 27-year-old faced the Mets last season, and New York knocked him around a bit. Sears allowed six runs on eight hits, two walks, and two strikeouts while failing to complete four innings.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.