The Mets’ recent stretch of games against losing teams is officially done. Things didn’t go that well, but the season isn’t over yet. But now, they get thrown right back into the fire by facing MLB’s best team: the Tampa Bay Rays.
Here’s what the probable pitchers look like at the moment. There could be some changes to come, so if anything happens, we’ll update them below.
Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET: Justin Verlander vs. Jalen Beeks
Justin Verlander will be making his third start as a Met, and his second one was stellar. In beating the Reds, he allowed one run on two hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts in seven innings. That performance tied him with Lucchesi for the longest outing by a Mets pitcher this season. JV has a 3.17 lifetime ERA in 133.1 innings against the Rays, but he hasn’t faced them since 2019.
Jalen Beeks has made 15 appearances for the Rays, with three of those being starts. He hasn’t gone more than three innings all year. His last appearance also came on Saturday in the Bronx against the Yankees. He allowed two runs on one hit and three strikeouts in two scoreless innings.
Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET: Kodai Senga vs. TBD
The key for Kodai Senga is simple, but it’s not easy. He needs to pitch deeper into games. He knows it, the Mets know it, and the fans know it. And it’s not like he needs to toss eight or nine innings every time he takes the bump. But consistently getting into the sixth and seventh inning is what he wants and the Mets’ bullpen needs. Senga has allowed 23 walks in 37 innings pitched in 2023.
Although he allowed five runs in five innings against Cincinnati his last time out, he at least only served up one walk. It was the first time he didn’t allow at least three free passes in a start as a big leaguer.
At the moment, Tampa Bay’s starter for Game 2 of this matchup hasn’t yet been announced. Once we hear who it is, we’ll update this accordingly.
Thursday at 1:10 p.m. ET: Tylor Megill vs. Josh Fleming
At the time of this writing, both the Mets and Rays have the overused “TBA” as their starter for the finale. Based on typical rest, though, it could be Tylor Megill opposing Josh Fleming.
Megill allowed a lot of traffic — four hits and four walks — during his five innings of work against the Nationals. But he limited the damage to one earned run while striking out four. He hasn’t completed six innings since the Mets’ home opener on April 7th, and Big Drip has completed more than five innings just one other time (May 1st vs. Atlanta).
Fleming has yet to record a decision through eight starts in 2023. His last five have been interesting, too. In four of them, he’s allowed a total of two earned runs but has recorded just one quality start. During the other appearance, he allowed six runs in five innings to the Yankees at the Trop. Fleming last faced the Mets in 2021. The hurler got the win while one-hitting New York across five innings with five strikeouts.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.